between JFK and MLK Jr.

My mother was 4 months pregnant with me when JKF was shot and killed in November 1963. I am a mid-60s baby.  There was a revolt that was starting as a secret effort in the minds of people who wanted to say something different than what was said in the 50s.  A new stand.  A new definition of roles and possibilities.

And then when I was 4-years old MLK Jr. was shot and killed on April 4, 1968.  His movement was also trying to say things differently.  I have a dream.  We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.(read this incredible speech here)

I am not really sure how, but I want to believe that though I was too young to have been changed consciously by these events, I was changed in some deep way.  Maybe it indirectly influenced me because I had teachers who were already adults during these history-changing events.  My parents were New Englanders who brought their three babies down to the south for more grass and trees and openness.  Unfortunately, there was also more racism and close-mindedness that went along with the beautiful surroundings I grew up in.  I felt it personally when I dared to dance with a black friend at a middle school dance and was shunned for days by my neighbor friends.

I also was born smack in the middle of the Vietnam war, which was from 1961-1970.  I have memories of my parents watching the news, but jumping up to turn the TV off when we wandered innocently into the room.  There was never a feeling of doom in my house.  Never.  But now I look back and see that times were turbulent and muscles were being flexed all over this country and beyond.

We each have a connection to the current events of our time.  I can now say that my own children were 13 down to 3-years old when 911 happened.  We did some talking, some crying, some evasive actions to avoid it.  But it will be something they relate to their own generation.

We are not necessarily defined by these events, but to think we are immune to their influence is naive.  I am a 60s baby, and in some small way in my soul, I carry some of that with me.





18 comments

Connie | November 21, 2010 at 3:42 PM

The things you mentioned are events that affect not only the U.S. but even the world. The ripple effect is endless and reaches farther than we realize. Other events happen, some very subtle, that mold our thinking, our actions and our lives.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could protect our children from unpleasant things by simply turning off the TV.

Thought provoking, as usual, Miss Kazzy.

The Way I See It | November 21, 2010 at 3:44 PM

This got me thinking. I'm a 60s baby too, and I can relate to all those things you mentioned. I feel a swell of emotion recalling each event. I also feel gratitude for the good. Thanks for always making me pause to think more deeply about something.

gigi | November 21, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Got me thinking about those times today. Thank you.

Lara | November 21, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Very cool post, Kazzy. It's amazing how these sorts of events not only change the world, but somehow change each person in it. Sometimes that's good, and sometimes it isn't.

Also, I am loving your new picture...you look fabulous!

Cherie | November 21, 2010 at 6:36 PM

We are the same age. These are great thoughts that I can really relate too, the only difference being that I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area at the same time you were growing up in the south and I never ever even knew what racism was. I am glad for that.
I think we definately remember and relate to experiences that happen even in our early youth. We remember the feelings around us, the aura if you will.
I have become more politically conscious in the last 10 years as I grow older, and thus these memories come into play even more.
Great post.

Julie | November 21, 2010 at 7:09 PM

My mom was also pregnant, very sick, and student teaching when the announcement came over the intercom in her classroom that JFK was killed. I never really contemplated the fact that I really AM a 60s baby. I guess I always dwelled on the later decades, but you've given me something to think about.

MommyJ | November 21, 2010 at 8:06 PM

My mother always told me she would never forget what she was doing, where she was the moment she learned that JFK had been shot. I'm not sure I truly understood until I experienced 9/11 and now feel the same way. I won't ever forget what I was doing, how it felt to experience something that shook the nation so fully. It will always be a part of me. This was quite a thought provoking read, Kazzy...

Melanie Jacobson | November 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Isn't it interesting that defining moments almost always come out of pain?

Kazzy | November 21, 2010 at 9:21 PM

For sure, Mel J.

Amber | November 21, 2010 at 10:45 PM

I am a 9/11 baby. Those events influenced me just as the shootings of JFK and MLK influenced you--in intangible ways. This post summarized that so very well.

Bossy Betty | November 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM

So interesting how these events shape us and I think our parents' reactions play such a big part too.

Kimberly | November 22, 2010 at 3:29 PM

As Connie pointed out, the ripple effect is endless. Oh my yes.

Love the new profile photo by the way - you're truly gorgeous, you 60's baby you.

misssrobin | November 22, 2010 at 5:28 PM

I missed pretty much all of that. I am a 60s baby by only four days. And those movements didn't affect my parents the way I wish they had.

Much of my experience with racism has been from watching people I care about claim one thing (because it was politically correct) and do another. Shun people because of the nature of their birth.

I choose otherwise.

TechnoBabe | November 23, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Dang, I could be your mom. My first child was born in 1965.
I know what you mean about moving to the south and the difference there. This is a moving and thought provoking post.

wendy | November 23, 2010 at 7:38 PM

For sure I think those different eras we are born into influence us. I was in the 8th grade when JFK was killed.....I was going to school in Alberta. They sent us all home and we watched it all on tv news for days.

I love history, and how it shapes us.

thanks Kazzy for your very kind words of support at the loss of my son. It has been heartwrenching for us all, but I have been so touched and humbled by the graciousness of my blogging friends.
Connie , and 6 others even came to the viewing and wow, it made me smile, amongst all those tears.

Mrs4444 | November 25, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Every generation has it's historical landmarks. I was a sixties baby, too. My current students have no idea what "9/11" was; we have to teach it every year. They will remember when their country got its first President of color, surely. Or maybe they won't, because now that the barrier has been crossed, it won't be such a big deal in the future.

Ca88andra | November 26, 2010 at 1:51 AM

I'm a 60's baby too. I was three when JFK was shot and I still remember seeing it on TV. We lived in New York then and I must have been at my grandparents place because they had a TV but we didn't. Forever frozen in my mind is the memory of the black and white images on their TV in the corner of their living room. I remember MLK jr too, but not as vividly as JFK.

Dedee | November 27, 2010 at 10:04 AM

I find these moments so fascinating--being a Berlin Wall/911 baby. And it's crazy to me that my children don't understand these things. I also occasionally wonder what those moments will be like for them.

Such a good post.