Why We Cant Wait

Ashley M. Watson Mr. Ward African American Studies March 17, 2000 BOOK REPORT Why We Cant Wait, by Luther King, Jr. WHY WE CANT WAIT Martin Luther King, Jr. I was reluctant to read this book that was originally assigned as a part of my African American Studies, but I am very glad that I did. As a black female born in 1981 who grew up in a neighborhood that did not have the black only signs or white only signs that were talked about in the book, I had a hard time understanding why race seems to be such a big issue in this country. As I saw it, slavery happened a long time ago and bigots were idiots to be ignored until they all died off. Why all this talk of discrimination and affirmative action? Why all the pleas for acceptance and peace? I heard my parents talk about the things that they and my grandparents had to face. The injustice, the unfairness, and the down right prejudice they had to deal with. But, to be honest it seemed like so long ago. I felt disconnected from those stories they shared with me. Now I sit with the book in my hand, unwillingly I open it. I am startled by the stabbing of Martin. The characters begin to come alive. It is spring in the year of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. was hauled off to jail in the aftermath of the Birmingham confrontation with Public Safety Commissioner “Bull” Connor and municipal authorities. Beatings, hosing, and the unleashing of vicious dogs could not deter thousands of demonstrating Negroes from risking serious injury, even death, in peaceful parades into the heart of downtown Birmingham Anger begins to swell up in me as I realize that my ancestors arrived in America and were treated like property, with cruelty and lies. Lies toward the right to be free even though they fought for our freedom during the war. However as the years passed and r…

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