Saturday, August 31, 2013

Where Were You 50 Years Ago Today?

As an 11-year-old 50 years ago my family watched the events of the March on Washington on television.  I remember how badly I wanted to be in Washington D.C. as a participant in the March.  I am sure most of my peers did not have the “March” on their radar, but as a child raised in a family who believed and fought for the rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for all, it was as if there was nowhere else I should have been. The turbulent years of the 60s saw good things, people standing up for what they knew to be right, and great pain, the assassination of three leaders fighting for all peoples to enjoy their God given rights, President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

Unfortunately, the struggle still continues. Yes, I will acknowledge that great strides have been made, but regrettably as we take two steps forward, there are forces trying to push “us” three steps backward. The “us” is anyone considered to be different, black, women, Hispanic and LGBTQ.

Let’s fast forward 45 years after the “March” to the 2008 election of the first African American president, President Barack Obama. The truth about who we are as a nation became a reality. It was hard to hide the hate and bigotry that was buried in the bowels of the souls of people who believe that only “white” men could and should be President of this great nation; a nation that our forefathers  built with their blood sweat and tears. People both black and white, Jews and Gentiles, died so that all people could be free, Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Viola G. Liuzzo. Let’s not forget another event of 50 years ago, four little girls whose only crime was going to Sunday school on September 15, 1963 and died because of bigotry and hate, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley (click here for 1963 article).

I know the people of this country will continue to move forward to ensure that those who died did so that we could be free and have the rights the Constitution affords us realized. This country belongs to all of us, so as the Supreme Court and Southern Governors and legislatures try to take away what we worked for, it makes the resolve of the people stronger.

Visit for more information on these historical events.

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