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of salvation, but with a feeling that they were the chosen ones and their time was now here. Many were wiping tears of joy and hugging and embracing each other. Their car was quiet on the way home. Terrance did not turn on the radio as was his habit. Thursday afternoon as the school bus slowed to let Arthur off, he moved down the aisle. It had been a long day with a couple of shoves in the hallway at school, but nothing of consequence. Arthur was small framed like his Daddy and not made for fighting, so the bullying never went far. Dropping to the ground from the bus he shook the weight of the day from his thin shoulders and hurried down the gravel lane. Arthur turned the rusty tin doorknob and entered the house to find his mother in her usual spot in the chair across from the TV. When she worked cleaning white peoples houses it wasn’t proper to sit, so by the end of the day she welcomed a chance to sit with her feet up before fixing dinner for the three of them. “How was school today son,” she asked. “We watched the launch of Apollo 6 in English class this morning. It’s going to land tonight around ten o’clock. The next one is going to have Astronauts on it.” “My, my, with all the troubles we have on God’s green earth who can believe we are going to heaven itself. President Kennedy said we were going to put a man on the moon before 1970, so I guess if the Lord is willing we will all live to see it. Just imagine staring up at the moon and not being able to see the little spec of that astronaut.” “Maybe one day it will be one of us Mama.” “Good Lord, we will have overcome then won’t we Arthur. Dr. King and the good Lord will be the ones we thank.” “You can keep your school clothes on again tonight cause we are going to church again for

a special gathering to pray for all those in Memphis.” She rose from her chair and moved to the kitchen to begin getting supper ready, leaving behind Phil Donahue on the TV set. Arthur went to his room dropped his school bag on the bed and pulled out his Algebra book. He returned to the living room and slouched on the couch doing homework while the TV continued to ramble on. KLFY news came on at 5:30 just as his father arrived from the mill. He nodded at Arthur and went to change from his work clothes. The mill processed cottonseed into oil and after a day at the mill Arthur’s father’s clothes had a nutty smell from the machinery he worked in and around. Just before 6 o’clock the family sat down to dinner and in an unusual move the TV was left on in the living room so that they could hear the latest on Memphis. Walter Cronkite led off with a Memphis update. The curfew the night before had been effective with only a few arrests and no mass rioting. A reporter in Memphis outlined the relative calm in downtown Memphis as the camera panned the military vehicles and police patrolling downtown in pairs with rifles. CBS followed with the story of Apollo 6 and the relative calm in downtown Memphis as the camera panned the military vehicles and police patrolling downtown in pairs with rifles. CBS followed with the story of Apollo 6 and its orbiting of the earth. Suddenly, the story stopped and the camera focused upon a sullen Walter Cronkite. “We have just received word that the Reverend Martin Luther 8

CP3 Understanding  
CP3 Understanding