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Thursday, January 15, 1998 - 03:40 a.m. Pacific

Students Essays: Michael West

Amphay Thiraphouth | Michael West | Dana Burns
Jesse Sexton | Aurora Lehr

A new generation believes the Dream

By Michael West
Jackson High School

Michael West What does Martin Luther King, Jr. mean to me? Well, when I was growing up and every year when Martin Luther King Jr. Day came up, it always got me thinking. I wondered what it would have been like growing up in a time when entire groups different from that of the majority "white" people were persecuted and segregated, to be thought of as the lesser human.

It often caught my attention for that day. I say "day" simply because I don't think about it much. I come from a time when these beliefs of inhumanity have been abolished and people are free to walk down the streets without the fear of racial bigotry, but to walk down the streets knowing full well that they are respected as equals and as citizens of our nation.

Now, I know the accomplishments of the great Martin Luther King and I thank him for changing the minds of so many people, for without his untimely devotion to end racial persecution I would not have the kind of kick-back, take-it-easy kind of life.

You see, I come from a mixed assortment of ethnic groups, which back in his time would be looked upon as evil, but due to his efforts I have no problems with being who I am. And for this I thank him and want to remind him that although he is not on my mind 24-7 he will always have my gratitude and thanks for his work to let everyone know that we are all created equal.

Amphay Thiraphouth | Michael West | Dana Burns
Jesse Sexton | Aurora Lehr





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