Sue Wright was a young adult living in Jeffersonville, Indiana when Dr. King was assassinated. Although she knows racism is alive and well, she believes minorities still have to press on and live their lives, while also participating in change. Not only does she encourage others to join in the work of change, but she is active in this work in her local community and she has completed mission work in Haiti. Below is her perspective on Dr. King’s assassination and how we continue to move forward.
Shawnta Barnes: Where were you and what do you remember about April 4, 1968?
Sue Wright: I cannot remember where I was. I just remember watching hours and hours of news coverage on television. There was lots of disbelief and anger. Racial tension, hatred, and distrust showed its ugly head once again. Louisville became a boiling pot and in May, there was a protest.
SB: What has changed in the past 50 years?
SW: Some African-Americans have an opportunity to attend better schools and colleges, afford better housing, and obtain better jobs.
SB: What has stayed the same?
SW: Some Caucasians still think they are the superior race and deep down do not want minorities to be equal to them.
SB: What do we need to do now in our community to make life better for the future and carry on Dr. King’s legacy?
SW: We need to continue being educated, we need to show the world our abilities, we need to overcome the hate of our color that the slave owners instilled in us which says light is right, and we must learn to work together. We are still being mentally enslaved and in bondage due to so many subliminal things that happen each day. Religion holds us captive by a white Jesus – phrases like pure as snow, one race of people was better than another, and the list goes on. We need to recognize when we are being duped and break free of those chains. Dr. King’s legacy was about peace and as long as we have no gun control in this country, we will no longer have peace.
SB: What are you doing to make life better for the future and to carry on Dr. King’s legacy?
SW: I am going to live my life to the best of my ability. I am not going to be afraid to ask “why?” Whenever I am invited to the table, I am going to participate and invite others that look like me to the table. I am going to continue encouraging young minorities to get as much education as possible, to read, and to always keep learning – to take pride in themselves and not follow the crowd.