CLOSING UP THE CHASM

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY IS JANUARY 16, 2006

"Get in the cab and don't get out until he's taken you back to where you belong." A photographer and I were working on a short article for a university newspaper, and the man who said this to us was an African American who had been showing us a part of New York City that was extremely dangerous. Caucasians weren't welcome to go there and take pictures of devastation. This man's purpose was to keep us from harm, and he had personally chosen the cab to make sure we'd get back to the university safely. His caring for us was a bridge over the chasm in our two worlds, black and white.

That was close to 40 years ago, and while there has been tremendous progress in some areas, the chasm still looms large—economically, socially, politically. It's one piece of a global picture of separation between racial, religious, and ethnic groups.

January 16, 2006
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