Martin Luther King Memorial in Yerba Buena Gardens

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Chelsea Shuto
HIST125
Professor Harrison
28 Nov. 2012

Final Essay
Situated on the corner of 4th St. and Mission St., in downtown San Francisco is Yerba Buena Gardens. Sounds from the hustle and bustle of cars driving and people walking permeate Yerba Buena Gardens, except in one particular location. In one corner of the gardens stands a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. The memorial is breathtakingly beautiful with a fifty foot high and twenty foot wide waterfall that falls over Sierra granite. In the Memorial’s hallway, visitors read quotes from Dr. King himself that are engraved on glass panels and set in granite. The physical beauty of the memorial is undeniable, however many people are not aware of the symbolism lying beneath the memorial’s surface. The memorial’s waterfall symbolizes the realization of Dr. King’s dreams the realization of Dr. King's dream, the tears shed by millions and of the voices of African Americas The memorial also reminds us of the oppressed African Americans whose voices were drowned out ignored; yet, it is apparent that society was pushed backwards in the race to equality with the mandatory evacuation of thousands of people due to the development of the Yerba Buena Gardens. King Jr. dreamt that all human beings, regardless of skin color, will one day be able to live in a completely free, just, and non-discriminatory society. It was his dream of an equal society that pushed Martin Luther King Jr. to become an advocate for universal suffrage. Even though the United States already had universal suffrage, unfair literacy tests and poll taxes plagued the voting process and disqualified nearly all impoverished African

Americans from voting 1. King wanted a colorblind society; a society where all human beings are treated equally and respectfully and given the same personal liberties and political freedom. Martin Luther King argued, in his “I Have a Dream”...
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