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A WANGNEWS Photonews Special Coverage of
HONORING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. January 15, 2018
Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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REPRESENTATIVES FROM
CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL
Charleston C K Wang, Esq.
Nazly Mamedova, Esq.
Charleston C K Wang, Esq.
Nazly Mamedova, Esq.
Charleston C K Wang, Esq.
Nazly Mamedova, Esq.
COLD DAY WARM HEARTS
THE MARCHING BAND
IS CALLING
                                                REFLECTIONS OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. BY ARTHUR PRASHAD WANG

I have a vivid memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. from my childhood. I was 6 or 7 years old, in grade school. One morning, I walked into my classroom and the first
thing I saw was a video of a man giving a speech. The picture was black and white, playing off the TV kept in the same corner where we had storytelling time. I was
instantly awestruck, lifted to a heightened state of awareness. My entire focus was drawn to this man, and for a few seconds it was as if time stood still in order to
allow me to absorb something very profound, even thrilling.

What I witnessed that morning was the video recording of Dr. King giving his "I Have a Dream" speech. I didn't yet know his name, but I recognized his spirit. It was
a moment of recognition that transcended the daily routine of childhood.

There is divinity within each one of us. It can be experienced, not merely affirmed. The peace of meditation is a simple one to start with. There is a familiarity that
accompanies this experience. Peace is felt, not as something new, but as something innate being reclaimed. The great Indian sage Patanjali called it smritti–divine
remembrance of who and what you are in truth. My moment of recognition with Dr. King held this sense of remembrance.

I studied the Civil Rights Movement during my junior year of high school. I was very interested in Dr. King's life at the time. I honored him for his service to our
country's legacy as a democratic nation and for his principles. He impressed me with the depth of his Christian faith, although I was faithless at the time. Yet, he
had an experience of God-contact that reached me through the fog of teenage agnosticism. It happened months into the Montgomery Bus Boycott, amidst threats
of death and failure. He describes it in his book Stride Toward Freedom:

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January 27, 1956, Montgomery, Alabama:

I was ready to give up. With my cup of coffee sitting untouched before me, I tried to think of
a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward. In this state of exhaustion,
when my courage had all but gone, I decided to take my problem to God. With my head in
my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud.

The words I spoke to God that midnight are still vivid in my memory. "I am here taking a stand
for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. The people are looking to me for leadership,
and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end
of my powers. I have nothing left. I've come to the point where I can't face it alone."

At that moment, I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced God
before. It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying:
"Stand up for justice, stand up for truth; and God will be at your side forever." Almost at
once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything."*
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Reading this, I was in awe, just as I had been as a child. The thrill was fainter, filtered through an intellectual lens, but it held the same current of remembrance.

Paramhansa Yogananda said that America fundamentally has good karma. The story of race relations in our country is in great part a tragedy, yet it is weaved upon
threads of hope and ushered forward by the courage and sacrifice of ennobled individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr. What I recognized that morning of my
childhood was not just his goodness, but a Divine Will acting through him. It is a force of love and intelligence imbued in America's blueprint, guiding this country,
not without tumult, towards a hopeful future.   Arthur Prashad Wang, January 15, 2018.

*For more context of King's "kitchen experience", please read:  
https://www.ncronline.org/…/road…/god-dr-kings-kitchen-table