Gebre, I grew up outside if Memphis at the Naval Air Station where my father was stationed as a marine. I remember Martin Luther King as we always turned the TV to anything that covered his speeches. The funeral was also played on the TV - I remember lying on the floor watching it and crying. I was five. He's always been my hero. I grew up as a military brat in the south. Military brats tend to hold very little bigotry toward others as we are all a moshposh from all over the world. I took a lot of abuse in school because my friends were my friends from the heart not of the skin.
President Kennedy died a few months after I was born. My birthday was always described as 'you were born the year Kennedy died.' It wasn't until much later that I learned the significance - or who he was.
The child answering the questions of what bigotry, hatred, prejudice, etc means. . . tells me that the world has indeed changed because of these. . . but it also tells me that those terms aren't used as much any longer. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing with what I actually see in the world.
My brother took my grandmother to dinner before she passed away. The waiter was African American and she called him a 'darky'. . . my brother went up to him and apologized - and tipped him heavily, but was amazed that this young man thought it an amazing thing that he was actually was on the receiving end of bigotry for the first time in his life and felt like he experienced something special. My grandmother passed away along with that generation's definition of what color means. We've come a long way in the US - but still have a long long way to go. I don't live in Chattanooga any longer because I couldn't stand the segregation and bigotry I saw there when I lived there.
May their Memory be Eternal.