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4047Laura Castoro on the MLK Holiday

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  • multiracialbookclub
    Jan 15, 2010

      Here is a commentary on the MLK Holiday as offered by 
      Mixed-Race writer  (who is also of 
      African-American Ethicity ), 
      Laura Parker Castoro  -- at a blog that features her published works.

      Martin Luther King Day 


      There are so many emotions tied 
      to this holiday this year of 2009. 

      As a writer of 
      African-American and biracial characters 
      LOVE ON THE LINEI've been thinking about 
      what the holiday has meant in years past. 

      What rose to the top of my thoughts is this: 
      it's not so much about the past, 
      it's about our present and future. 

      [F]inally, the holiday will take its 
      rightful place as an "American Holiday," 
      not just one added for 

      Among the many things that the election of 
      President Obama has done for this nation of 
      peoples is to offer us a chance to be Americans first. 

      In doing so, Dr. King becomes an 
      American hero, first and foremost.

      He helped our country move past its most 
      shameful history to strive for the best we can be.

      Are we all glad that slavery and segregation and 
      nationalized hatred have been abolished? 

      Of course we are. 

      All Americans can take pride in that achievement, 
      just as we do in any American victory, be it an 
      Olympic champion or a walk on the moon. 
      We smile and say,
      "An American did that. One of us!" 

      Obama's election is, simply put, 
      the spirit of equality put into action.

      That doesn't mean that many of us don't still 
      wrestle with what it means to be American 
      versus being a member of a particular ethnic or 
      social or even religious group within our greater society. 

      In LOVE ON THE LINE, my character Thea Morgan, 
      a light-skinned 
      African-American wife, business 
      woman, and mother, struggles with the issue 
      of her identity as not been "seen" as black 
      enough in both her personal and business life. 

      Her biracial daughter Jesse, has similar, 
      yet different, issues to resolve. 

      Can you be part of two equal halves? 
      Should you choose? 
      Should you have to?

      These are very real personal dramas that occur everyday 
      all over the U. S. I worked from my own experience as 
      a light-skinned 
      African-American, as well as those of 
      many different people I know of many backgrounds. 

      Just as Jesse and Thea work out how to live their 
      best lives, my hope is that we all come to accept
       with all our differences, and interests, and 
      ways of expressing ourselves, we truly are, at 
      the end of every day, one nation, indivisible

      Happy Birthday, Dr. King. Happy New Year, America.

      How do you feel about this 
      holiday and what it represents? 

      Do you think that personal struggles, and
      we all have them, reflect national attitudes? 

      Or is it just part of growing up for each 
      of us to have to try to define ourselves 
      against the culture in which we grow up? 

      I'd really love to hear your thoughts on these 
      very provocative and important issues.

      Laura Castoro 

       Author Laura Castoro (aka Laura Parker)  


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