Posted on Jul 25, 2019
John Alan Boryk grew up in a world where a black man could not shake hands with a white man, where there were segregated schools, restrooms, and entrances to public places.  He once was ridiculed for drinking out of a never before used water fountain in a newly built building because someone had labelled it “colored.”
The Jim Crow rules were deeply ingrained and followed without question, until John Alan came north to Aurora University where he entered a different world. 
When the opportunity came to hear Martin Luther King at Chicago Symphony Center, John Alan somewhat reluctantly agreed to attend.  Expecting a political rally with a rabble rousing speech, instead he found a worship service led by a man of compassion and love.  Immediately after the service in a chance meeting with Dr. King, his life and perspective was unalterably changed when Dr. King clasped his hand, telling John Alan he would pray for him.   It was this encounter that inspired John Alan to travel the following week to Selma for the March to Montgomery in 1965.  He shared his story of what it was like to be in Selma, and how it changed his life going forward.