Above, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to middle school students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967.
Ever wonder what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. might have said to you and your classmates if you'd been teens in the 1960s? It may sound at times as though Dr. King is asking kids not to put any limits on their belief in themselves and their abilities, but, put a ceiling on the kinds of jobs they might do. But, remember, in the 1960's, Dr. King was hoping your grandparents, who were then in elementary or middle school, would become the first generation of Americans of African descent to have most jobs and career open to them. That may have come true in some places for your grandparents, in some places your parents were that first generation. In some places, it may be you. In 1967, many of the universities considered elite, like Harvard and Yale, were yet to accept women. In Tulsa, Black doctors were still not allowed to practice in the major hospitals. In Oklahoma, laws were still on the books into the 1970s stating that it was illegal for Blacks and Whites to play on the same basketball court. The Tulsa City Council was seated for the first time in 1990, giving NORTH TULSA a measure of political representation for the first time in our history, for the first time since many NORTH TULSA families came to Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, in the 1830s.
Contrast Dr. King's advice with 21st century advice, 50 years later, from businessman Warren Thompson. We first heard of Warren Thompson when he gave a virtual talk at The University of Tulsa.