Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As a symbol of the civil rights movement, MLK Jr is a significant historical figure. But what does MLK Jr have to do with my family? Nothing in any direct ancestral sense. But what King stood for–the equality of all human beings no matter their differences–is a message that my search for my roots has brought home for me. This is an indirect, subtle thing. There’s virtually no racial diversity in my tree regarding my direct ancestors. But I’ve discovered many subtle differences… political, geographical, and even religious. Too often, we let differences separate us. Today, let us remember that differences can unite and strengthen us. Embracing diversity–both within my family and beyond–is something I celebrate both today and every other day of the year.

What kind of diversity have you found in your family tree?

I took the above photo in DC shortly after the new MLK Jr memorial was opened in 2011.