A Family Shares an Historic Journey

An Ohio mother wants her children to be part of the civil rights conversation.

Posted: 10/16/2011 04:50 PM EDT

It has been a weekend to remember for Rhonda Talford Knight, who drove from Canal Winchester, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., with her two daughters, Alexis and Alia, aged seven and six, to participate in not one, but two historic events.

The three participated in the National Action Network’s March for Jobs Saturday afternoon, although Alexis says she “barely” marched, and they joined thousands of others the next day on the National Mall to witness the historic moment of the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Knight is a college professor who prepares teachers of middle-school children. So it is no surprise that Martin Luther King Jr. is a topic of discussion at home. She wants her girls to be able to participate in similar discussions when the topic is civil rights so that they’re not just listening, but actually contributing to the conversations.

"I thought President Obama’s speech was on target,” Knight said. “I think he spoke of the things that were significant and important for this time and moment.”

Obama’s message may not yet mean much to Alexis and Alia, but years from now when they’re able to appreciate that they were at the memorial’s dedication — and hopefully remember some of it — the experience will take on the weighty importance that fills generations before them with great pride when they recall where they were on the day that King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

For now, though, Alexis says, King to her means freedom, peace and happiness.

(Photo: Joyce Jones/BET.com)

From Our Partners