by C.J. Kirkland

A friend recently sent me an email and in the Subject box she simply wrote the word “PUSH”. The email contained a video of two children at a playground: one child pushing the other on a swing. After I watched it several times, each time getting just a little more emotional, I realized that my friend, perhaps unknowingly, had given this video message an incredibly powerful title. PUSH.

Several months ago I was reminded by someone here in Memphis that the word PUSH has been transformed into an acronym that means Pray Until Something Happens. In a city where the wounds of racism are still closing, many have prayed that something will happen. Many have hoped that the city most famous for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be able to move past the pains of divide and see its citizens unite, regardless of race, color and creed. As I watched the video sent by my friend, I wondered if many of those that PUSH have realized that something has indeed happened here in the beautiful city of Memphis. You see, what I watched at least a half dozen times that evening was a little black boy sitting on a swing, being pushed by a little white girl, both children completely enamored with one another and completely unaware that the color of their skin would have once prevented them from playing together.

A city that saw a dream nearly killed forty four years ago is seeing that dream materialize. As he stood before 25,000 people on August 28th, 1963, Dr. King spoke:

“I have a dream that one day…little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls…”

Dr. King, your dream is materializing on the swings, on the playgrounds, of the very city that held you in its arms until your very last breath.
C.J. Kirkland is a freelance writer currently based in Memphis.
Call (901) 267-5287 or email cj@cjkirkland.com.