Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day - The Dayton Puzzle

Today is the day that Americans honor the memory of civil rights leader and peace advocate, Martin Luther King Jr. As in many cities, Dayton commemorates the day with marches, rallies and speeches. It was a cold day for a march but spirits were warm.

Dayton has a special tradition that I always enjoy. Marchers gather at points north, south, east and west of the downtown and converge at the steps of the old County Courthouse. Each group is led by a piece of a puzzle. When combined the four puzzle pieces create a map of Dayton and the Miami Valley (the Great Miami River and its tributaries flow through Dayton).

This ritual is especially poignant for Dayton, because historically there has been a racial divide in the city of Dayton: Blacks on the West Side, Whites on the East Side. Over the years the lines between these divisions have blurred, and that's a good thing.



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