Dear MLK

Dear MLK,

We are at a cross-roads in America in which your dream is threatened. On this day, we need to remember the struggle of your time, the need for kindness and most importantly the need for communication. An article in the New York Times from today spells out the latest part of this problem:

Trump Sets Off Backlash With Attack on Civil Rights Icon


  • Outrage over President-elect Donald J. Trump’s criticism of Representative John Lewis is driven by what many blacks see as his lack of understanding of their reverence for the civil rights movement.
  • Several members of Congress said they would not attend the inauguration, and would meet with activists to discuss strategies to oppose Mr. Trump’s administration. The New York Times, January 16, 2017

MLK, your actions in the 1960s speak volumes to our cross-roads today. At base, your daughter told us that you and Coretta, your loving wife, were interested in developing connections that lead to better communication. I have something along these lines that is posted on the back of our front door for our kids and us to see every time we go out:

Before you speak, THINK, should be our watchword:

T = is it true?

H= is it helpful?

I = is it inspiring?

N = is it necessary?

K = is it kind?

Although this is a small reminder to our family, I think it is in keeping with your family, and it is our intent to improve our world through thoughtful communication.



Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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