HOLDING ON TO THE HOPE
Michael Cage was 6 when his mother burst into his bedroom in tears and buried her head in his lap.
Confused and concerned, he instinctively put his hands up and trembled before asking her what was wrong.
“They got him,” she said. “They killed MLK.”
The Cages lived in West Memphis, Ark., less than 10 miles from downtown Memphis, TN., where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Flash forward four years and Cage experienced yet another ripple effect of the racially charged South in the ’60s desegregation. He would have to switch from his all-black school only blocks from his house to an all-white school across town.
Cage’s personal experiences with landmark civil rights moments continued during his playing career in the NBA. In April of 1992, nearly 24 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Cage was playing for the Los Angeles Clippers when the city erupted in riots after four Los Angeles policemen were acquitted of beating Rodney King.
With these references in his rearview, Cage clings to some semblance of hope in the midst of the global protests he sees today. Things are a little different this time.