(Assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee while supporting the strike of garbage workers in that city)
By Hilvie Olstrow, Becketwood Member
Let us learn love from the man
Who stood above the puny prejudices
Of both black and white,
Who towered o’er the clan!
Now one, fierce fumbling finger
On the trigger of a gun
Has sent a sudden shot into the air—
Leaving a gaping wound—a cause unwon.
Moving a mourning multitude
Into a vacuum of despair.
A young man had a dream!
He saw his brothers huddled in the hovels of the poor
While haughty, heedless white men stored up more and more,
While slums went down and white men moved away
He saw the dreams of blacks die and decay.
But yet the young man held his dream
More tightly to his heart.
With stubborn faith in man’s inherent good
He drove his dream through dauntless years
Of anguished pleas for racial brotherhood.
Is it enough, O Lord?
Has hatred had its day?
O, let the loving sun arise
And push away the bitter skies!
Let love awaken the complacent dead,
Shattering the bars of fear and dread!