It is freezing out today, and boy did we get a lot of snow yesterday. The most in seven years. It’s suppose to be excellent snowman and snowball making snow. I hope you are having fun playing outside.
Since, its so snowy and cold outside, I figured its a good day for me to stay inside, keep warm and write a letter.
I suppose you know that last week was Martin Luther King Day. I sure hope that you had lessons in school learning about what a wonderful civil rights leader he was and how he died. When I was young there wasn’t a Martin Luther King Day, because he was still alive.
Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King
Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther
Just for the record Martin Luther and Martin Luther King are two separate people. They did have somethings in common. They were both Christian pastors and fought for human rights. However, Martin Luther was an old white guy who was a German professor of religion, composer, priest, and monk. He began a movement called the protestant reformation. Lutheran churches are named after him.
It is so important to learn about great men like Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King. He taught that not liking or being mean to someone…anyone…because of the color of their skin is just wrong. Some people have this idea that they are better than others just, because of their skin color. I am here to tell you that is utter rubbish!
I learned that lesson in Sunday School when I was only three years old. One of the first Christian songs our teachers taught us kids was, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” It goes like this,
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red, yellow, black and white,
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
Truer words were never spoken.
I remember Dr. Martin Luther King very well and especially the day he was assassinated. At that time in our country’s history it seemed like there was just one assassination after another.
First, it was President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1969 in Dallas, Texas. Then, Dr. Rev. King on April 4, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, and just several months later President Kennedy’s brother Bobby was shot and killed campaigning to be president on June 6, 1968 in Los Angeles, California.
I was very young and so was television when President Kennedy was killed. I do remember watching his funeral on a black and white television. The image of his casket being pulled by horses stuck in my mind. I, also, remember news films of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and being afraid of the riots that followed his death. I heard about Bobby Kennedy’s assassination on the radio.
Dr. King was only 39 years old when he died. That might seem old to you, but its not. He was a young man in the prime of his life, about the same age as your parents.
Dr. King accomplished a lot during his few short years on this earth. He was a highly respected leader in the Civil Rights movement. He devoted his life to saving souls for Jesus and ending the inequity and racism experienced by our black brothers and sisters that had never gone away since the end of the Civil War.
Dr. King helped end something called “Jim Crow” laws. In short, these laws separated white and black people. By law black people could not use the same bathrooms or water fountains as white people. I remember that I once went into a really expensive store and in their bathrooms each stall had a lock on it. You had to use a dime to go to the bathroom. I was a little kid, and thought that was terrible and felt bad that poor people couldn’t use those facilities.
So, imagine how awful it would have been to not be able to go in restaurants, on buses or attend a school just because of the color of your skin. All “Jim Crow” laws were was slavery in another form.
The night before he was killed Dr. King delivered one of his most remembered speeches. It is often called, “The Mountain Top Speech.” One of the more famous quotes from that speech goes like this,
“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”
Like Biblical Moses, who thousands of years before him had led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, neither Moses or Dr. King would never enter the promised land. Moses died of old age on a mountain and Dr. King’s life ended just a few hours after he made this speech with an assassins bullet.
If genius is defined by making the complex simple, there is no doubt that Dr. King was a genius. Dr. King summed up in one sentence the goal of how people should be treated no matter what the color of their skin when he said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Yes, people are still judged and found wanting just because of the color of their skin. Take for example the bride to be of a English Prince Harry. She is a beautiful young woman whose mother was black and father white. There have been several news stories about how some people don’t think, that the bride is good enough to marry into the English Royal family, because one of her parent’s is black.
Rude comments such as these are the absolute the definition of the term, “catty.” Which the dictionary defines as someone who is, “unkind, spiteful, mean, malicious, or critical.”
I have always felt that people who are just mean or who judge individuals by the group are in desperate need of prayer. However, in this case their nasty comments are just reflection of their own ignorance, because there already is “black” blood mingled with the blue blood of England’s royals.
England has already had two, “black” royal queens of England….Philippa and Sophie Charlotte.
Queen Philippa was born on June 24, 1314. She died August 15, 1369. Philippa was the daughter of a noble ruler who lived in what is now the country of Belgium. He was of “Moorish” descent, which meant he was black and his ancestors had come from Africa.
Philippa was King Edward III’s wife and England’s Queen-Consort. Theirs was an arranged political marriage. That means their parents picked out who they had to marry. How would you like that?
Edward’s father, King Edward II, sent a fellow to Philippa’s kingdom to check her out and report back. The report came back as follows,
“The lady whom we saw has not uncomely hair, betwixt blue-black and brown. Her head is cleaned shaped; her forehead high and broad, and standing somewhat forward. Her face narrows between the eyes, and the lower part of her face is still more narrow and slender than the forehead. Her eyes are dark. Her nose is fairly smooth and even, save that is somewhat broad at the tip and flattened, yet it is no snub nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full and especially the lower lip…all her limbs are well set and unmaimed, and nought is amiss so far as a man may see. Moreover, she is brown of skin all over, and much like her father, and in all things she is pleasant enough, as it seems to us.”
Philippa is considered a “most royal” Queen-Consort of England. Four of her great-great-grandfathers had been the kings….in France, Aragon, Naples and Hungary. She was intelligent, a capable ruler when her husband was away from the palace making war and was known for her patience, kindness and mercy. She often pleaded for her husband to spare the lives of those who were sentenced to death.
Together Queen Philippa and King Edward III had thirteen children. Their first child was born before Philippa was sixteen years old. Three of their children, a daughter and two sons, died from the black plague. I already told you about the black plague.
Queen Philippa was very much respected and loved by the people England. She promoted the arts, and was a sponsor of the famous author Geoffrey Chaucer. The Queen’s College at Oxford was founded in her honor.
Queen Philippa’s Tomb
The second of England’s black queens was Sophie Charlotte who was born in 1744. Princess Sophie Charlotte was the eighth child born to Germany’s Charles Louis Fredrick and Elisabeth Albertina. Her father died when she was only eight years old.
It was through her father that she inherited her black heritage. There are six different royals lines directly connecting Sophie to Margarita de Castro y Sousa, the daughter of Alfonso III of Portugal and his mistress, Mourana Gil, an African of Moorish descent.
While several generations separated both Philippa and Charolotte from their African or Moorish ancestors, the practice of marrying cousins practiced by the royalty in Europe kept that gene pool small and helps to explain why these two queens had dark skin.
Many of the people who knew them described them as having African features such as dark eyes, hair and skin. Sir Walter Scott wrote that Charolotte was “ill-colored” and called her family “a bunch of ill-colored orangutans.” One prime minister once wrote of Queen Charlotte: “Her nose is too wide and her lips too thick.” The Queen’s personal physician, Baron Stockmar, described her as having, “a true mulatto face.”
So how did this German princess end up being Queen Charlotte of England and Ireland?Parents arranged the marriage. A marriage contract was signed. She traveled from Germany to England, on September 8, 1761, within six hours of first stepping foot on English soil, at the age of 17, Sophie Charlotte married King George III.
King George III is the guy George Washington and his fellow Americans rebelled against to win our freedom. This king eventually went crazy, but that is another story.
On August 12, 1762, Queen Charlotte gave birth to their first child, a son who would become King George IV. Their son Edward, Duct of Kent, was the father of Queen Victoria.
All together the royal couple produced 15 children. Thirteen survived to adulthood. Which was rare in those days as one out of even ten babies died before they were a year old and 30 percent of all children died before they were teenagers. But, then the average life expectancy for people of the 18th century was just under 40 years of age. Now, its almost 80 years. Hurrah for modern medicine and vaccinations!
Queen Charlotte was a very great English Queen. She, like Philippa, was a lover of art and music. One of her music teachers was Johann Christian Bach. When he was only eight years old, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dedicated his Opus 3 to her. She helped establish the famous Kew Gardens; a maternity hospital, the oldest in England; and was the Queen who introduced the Christmas tree to England.
Queen Charlotte is the great great-great grandmother of the present Queen Elizabeth II. Prince William’s little daughter is named after her. Many cities around the world and in our country are named after her.
In the year 1818 two very great women died, Queen Charlotte and Nancy Lincoln. One lived in great palaces and the other in a one room log cabin with dirt floors. One was the mother of kings and queens who most people could not even name, and the other the mother of Abraham Lincoln, the most famous and admired president of our nation.
Lincoln once said that all he was and could ever hope to be he owed to his mother. He was merely nine years old when he watched his beloved mother suddenly die from sickness. She was only 34 years old. Lincoln used a knife to whittle the wooden pegs that held his mother’s coffin together.
Lincoln would grow up to be the president that saved our Union during the Civil War and ended slavery. Both he and Dr. King lost their lives to assassins because of their political convictions and while our nation still needed their leadership.
I think that had Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King lived at the same time and met, they would have been great friends. For Lincoln wholeheartedly believed what Dr. King once said that, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Don’t forget that Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is coming up and send me some pictures of your snowmen.
Lots of love,