This blog is dedicated to Charlie Walker’s story and the Dream he shared with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others. I, too, share this Dream: the dream of black and white, brothers and sisters, sitting down at the “table of brotherhood.” There will always be conflicts, but we must resolve them without violence. As my dad Charlie would say, “The Christian faith says that we cannot call any man an alien or an enemy. We are all members one of another. From this viewpoint we see nonviolence is not just a weapon to fight for freedom. It is the way we are called to live—all of us—who would serve Him who said: ‘Follow me.’”
August 28, 1963 in Washington, DC, I was a teenager when I heard Martin Luther King Jr. say in his rich Southern accent, “I have a Dream today!” It came through the speakers, reached across the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Memorial and electrified my being! Those words changed my perspective on life. To this day, I remember his inspiring and prophetic vision and his ability to change people’s lives!
My father Charlie Walker, on the dais behind Dr. King, served as Deputy Coordinator for the Philadelphia area, helped with organizing the March and, as an expert in nonviolence, was determined that the March would be peaceful. He had written handbooks and training materials for the Civil Rights Movement, met Rev. King at a mass meeting in Montgomery, and helped train many of the leaders in their struggle for social justice. Volume 1 of my biography of him, A Quaker Behind the Dream: Charlie Walker and the Civil Rights Movement, will be released this spring.