By Allison Green
I was not even two months old when my father left my mother and me in Ohio, where they were graduate students, and traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the March on Washington and listen to Martin Luther King Jr. give his famous speech.
When I tell this story to my students at Highline College, some of them get a wondrous look on their faces; King and that speech are so iconic that they can seem unreal to generations born long after me.
Did that day really happen? Did ordinary people really get the news that an important event was planned (no Internet! no Twitter!) and travel for hours to attend? Did white men like my father really care enough to leave a wife and newborn child to drive to a city where he wasn’t sure he had a place to sleep to support the civil rights movement? Yes, he did, and yes, they did, and yes, it happened.
The meaning of this story has changed for me over the years, but lately it’s been reminding me that showing up — emotionally, intellectually and physically — may be the most important thing I do as a teacher and a human being. …