Yes, we've already celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. back in January. But let us not forget him this month as well. As April 4, 2018, marks the 50th Anniversary of his death. It is worth noting his message of peace and love, especially in a time when there is a great divide with regard to race and class amongst people in our world today.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN. This spurred a rethinking of gun laws and was a cornerstone of Gun Control in the U.S. back then. Amazingly, fifty years later we are dealing with very similar issues.
Also, Dr. King said that segregation harms us all. Which leads to something that is very close to home with our Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Right here in Arlington, to this day, there are remains of an actual "Segregation Wall" located in one of the oldest enclaves in Northern Virginia that was settled by newly freed slaves shortly after the Civil War. This "Segregation Wall" is located at North Culpeper Street and 17th Road and separated the black neighborhood (Halls Hill/High View Park) from the bordering white neighborhood from the 1930's to the 1960's.
One of the Discovery Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs, Tia Alfred, is set to lead us on a walking tour this coming Monday, April 9, 2018, at 9 a.m. She plans to lead us from Gateway Park (located at Lee Highway and the top of Cameron Street) down to the "Segregation Wall" and back with a few stops along the way to share about some of the history right here in Arlington.
Now that there has been a forecast of inclement weather, this tour may be postponed. Regardless of postponement of the walking tour, please feel free to go and view the "Segregation Wall" for yourselves, as there is a historical marker located in front of some of the remnants of the wall.
Though this is a very significant part of Arlington's history, we need to remember that it is our past and be careful to continue to move forward and be progressive in our great city.
Let's take this time to rekindle Dr. King's message regarding love for one another.
Let's hope for great weather, and see you on the tour!
Tia Alfred (mother of Maddox - 4th grader, and Mathias - Kindergarten)