There Is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Lewis V. Baldwin | Go to book overview
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2
WALK TOGETHER, CHILDREN
FAMILY HERITAGE

My parents taught me something very early. Somehow they
instilled in me a feeling of somebodyness, and they would say
to me over and over again that you're just as good as any child
in Atlanta, Georgia.

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1966'

Those who stand tall in our presence appear to be of unusual
height because, in most cases, they stand on the shoulders of
giants who have preceded them.

John Hope Franklin, 19862

Walk together, children,
Don't you get weary,
Talk together, children,
Don't you get weary,
Sing together, children,
Don't you get weary,
There's a great camp meeting
in the Promised Land.

Negro Spiritual3

The home and family setting was basic to the environment in which Martin Luther King, Jr., lived, matured, and struggled. His early emotional, intellectual, moral,

1. Martin Luther King, Jr., “A Speech to Blacks,” Grenada, Miss.
(The Archives of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social
Change, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, 16 June 1966) 3.

2. John Hope Franklin, “The Forerunners,” American Visions: The
Magazine of Afro-American Culture
, 1, no. 1 (January-February 1986):
26, 35.

3. Quoted in John Lovell, Jr., Black Song: The Forge and the
Flame
The Story of How the Afro-American Spiritual Was Hammered
Out
(New York: Paragon House Publishers, 1972), 276, 278.

-91-

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