This I Believe

Simon - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on January 15, 2007
Age Group: 65+

I believe in Dr. Martin Luther King…he opened my eyes and heart for a better world.

I came to the US in 1955 from Lebanon at the age of 18 to go to college. I knew little about the US other than from Hollywood movies and of course loved Frank Sinitra. I had a choice between Ohio State and Louiisiana State…chose LSU warmer climate and was told they spoke French.

Landed @ NY Internayional Airport took a taxi to the YMCA, two days later took the bus–to see the country–to Baton Rouge. I, always, sat in the back of the school bus in my school so I did the same on Greyhound until we got mid way then the driver told me I couldn’ sit in the back of the bus so I didn’t…we stoped at the Bus Depot Restaurants and stood in line–was shorter–“Colored Only”…was told couldn’t be served & had to go the “White Only” so I did. Then, I saw the water fountain “Colored Only” thinking Hollywood wanted a drink in color and again was told no you have to drink from white only fountain.

Fast forward arrived BR and never understood any of this & told some of the students and they explained to me the “unexplainable” seperate movies, churches, restaurants etc…never understood the nor do I understand it now.

Graduated from LSU and worked for the University and saw the changes both by law and by the people….I well remember when the Civil /rights Act was passed and all public places had to be open to all a geological miracle happened wher all the public swiming pools had to close because of a leak!!!!

Things improved and then I began to listen, read and follow MLK and his followers teachings and movements for human equality. I guess the true meaning of life–love for others–became crystal in my mind. I did my little bit by getting admitted the first African student to LSU..he was from Nigeria and he had a family so I worked on gettin him to live in Married Student Housing which they did, assigned a Host Family (white family, we didin’t have African American Families then) and I hope the door was opened for the betterment of the future generations. Shortly after–68/69

arranged for I believe was the first Africna American Speaker. Julian Bond, young energetic articulate…I remember he kept looking through the curtain to see if there lots of people…the place room ( LSU, Union) was packed. I went backstage thinking he was nervous–we all were–and some “words of wisdom” they’re here because they like you & those who don’t will—If I remember he had a standing ovation.

So, the world is a better place for Dr. Knig the more we learn from his work the better and more peaceful world we’ll have.