This Day

Sensible advice from my dad arrived via email this morning.

Two days after I was born, Dr. King was assassinated, when my mother was still in the hospital. I imagine my father returning home in his blue Volkswagen beetle to his two-year-old and his babysitting mother-in-law, switching on the evening news and drinking bourbon in the brilliant Albuquerque light.

48 years later, a mother myself, I intend to walk with my two daughters next weekend in the Women’s March on Montpelier.

Why? my daughters ask. I begin by answering, Because we must.

My dad’s advice was to read Dr. King’s two greatest essays, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence.”

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives, and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

– Martin Luther King, “A Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence”

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Photo by Molly S./Woodbury, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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