Most of my earliest memories are from around the time I was five or six years old. I remember the first day of kindergarten; I remember my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Leatherwood (and don’t you dare make fun of her name like my older brothers and sisters did; she was awesome); and I remember the goldfish pond in her classroom. Yes, she had a goldfish pond in her classroom. So suck it, haters.
I also remember certain events surrounding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which happened forty-five years ago today. I was five, going on six at the time. I remember my parents shooing us outdoors so they could listen to the radio or watch news coverage on the ancient black-and-white television set in the living room. I remember them talking in hushed tones, being deadly serious all the time; a kind of palpable tension that lasted for several days. And I remember driving down what’s now the Eisenhower Expressway towards the Loop, seeing buildings burning on the West Side.