I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Future of Multicultural America

By James Echols | Go to book overview

chapter 4
Growing like Topsy
Solidarity in a Multicultural U.S.A.

Emilie M. Townes

She was one of the blackest of her race; and her round shining eyes, glittering as glass beads, moved with quick and restless glances over everything in the room. Her mouth, half open with astonishment at the wonders of the new Mas'r's parlor, displayed a white and brilliant set of teeth. Her woolly hair was braided in sundry little tails, which stuck out in every direction. The expression of her face was an odd mixture of shrewdness and cunning, over which was oddly drawn, like a kind of veil, an expression of the most doleful gravity and solemnity. She was dressed in a single filthy, ragged garment, made of bagging; and stood with her hands demurely folded before her. Altogether, there was something odd and goblin-like about her appearance—something, as Miss Ophelia afterwards said, “so heathenish,” as to inspire that good lady with utter dismay; and turning to St. Clare, she said, “Augustine, what in the world have you brought that thing here for?”1

—Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

These are truly interesting times to be thinking about our multicultural America. Rather than see it as our future, I think it has become clear, with the most recent Census Bureau statistics released in 2003, that we are already multicultural. Media reports have announced that

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