Tag Archives: civil rights

The Dream – 57 years ago


 

A dream pronounced

by peaceful warrior standing his ground

His message still resonates

How beautiful the sounds

of people cheering, believing

that dreams do come true.

Fifty-seven years have passed.

Today we reaffirm, and decree

his hopes for a united front.

Civil disobedience, peaceful protests

and good trouble will be revived.

Enough is enough!

Poem by Melba Christie

“We Cannot Walk Alone…We Cannot Turn Back”

 

 

Seventy-seven days – On a Significant Anniversary


One years ago the 19th amendment empowered women with the right to vote. 2020 so far been a memorable year; it will definitely be remembered for many negatives but there are some positives we need to embrace.

My grandmother was barely 22 years old when the 19th came about. The incumbent president at the time was Woodrow Wilson, a leader of the Progressive Movement; he was the 28th President of the United States (1913-1921).

Warren G. Harding, a Republican, who won by a landslide victory in 1920, taking every state outside the South and dominating the popular vote. He became the 29th president.

I wish she were here to tell me who she voted for at the time and if she actually did get to vote. My great-grandmother was never able to vote. She had passed by the time the 19th had been enforced.

Today, we the women of this great country do have the right to vote and it is so important that we do so on November 3, 2020. We must do everything in our power to get out there and exercise our right to vote and not be fearful. Our vote will count and will be counted fairly. We must believe that our elections will not be tampered with. Our doubts began with the knowledge that foreign entities may try to sway people one way or another via social media. Reliable security sources have made clear interference of that kind will not happen again. So we cannot allow fear, and misinformation to come from any source.

Of course, I may be a tad bias but I believe women are intelligent, forceful and determined to make the world right for their offspring and loved ones in general. You could not intimidate my mother or grandmother. They kept informed. They read fervently and spoke up when they knew something was dramatically wrong. I know that many women are made of the same stuff.

I watched Michelle Obama speak at the National Democratic (unconventional) Convention which was done virtually because of the pandemic we are all struggling with these days. She was eloquent as usual but also spoke from her non-political heart. I heard the sincerity of a mother and patriot who loves her country. It was a love like this that fueled the Suffrage Movement. As my grandmother would say they had “fuego” (fire) in their hearts and clarity in their minds.

https://www.thecut.com/2020/08/michelle-obamas-dnc-speech-watch-video-and-read-highlights.html

We must honor those women by doing what needs to be done. I know I will honor my great grandmother and all those before her who could not voice their opinion or check off a ballot box.

There is too much at stake. There is too much to accomplish. We have come a long way but so much more needs to be done to get the job done better. It is up to us. Who else can do three jobs at once? Who else has the know how to read people and know what is best for their children? The answer is We the Women of these United States of America. God bless America!

President Harding and His wife.

 

It is our turn to make a

difference!

 

Message from a Sad and Mad Grandma


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I am sad.

I am so sad.

I am so very sad.

I am mad.

I am so mad.

I am so very mad.

Does anyone understand the harm we are doing to our children?

Their eyes are watching.

Their fears are growing.

They hear there is a Pandemic.

They hear Covid 19.

They cannot attend school.

Now they hear that a police officer,

(Someone we told and taught them they could trust.

killed an African American man,

Just because …

But no one can explain why because no one really knows why.

I know we are hurting at so many levels.

I know the hurt and disillusion has been there for hundreds of years.

I know about the despair and the fears.

We have the right to speak up.

We have the right to make changes.

We have the right to even hate what is going on.

But hate begets hate.

We were all taught in kindergarten The Golden Rule.

We were taught to share and respect each other.

We were told that America is our Land.

We have the right to pursue our dreams and happiness.

They told us we are equal!

My God! What happened?

What Happened?

I am sad.

I am so sad.

I am so very, very sad.

I am mad.

I am so mad.

I am so very, very mad.

But then I think about the four children,

I was blessed to call my grandchildren.

And I think about all children,

Yes your children,

no matter their race,

no matter their religious creed.

And I cannot bear the thought that they too will be sad, and will be mad.

The grown-ups in this world have to wake up.

We need to show them

we can get through this together.

Stop the violence.

Stop the senseless killing.

Stop! Just stop!

I beg you.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Time Is What We Make It


Time Is What We Make It

Fifty-one years have passed since the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. America lost a pure soul and a charismatic leader who tried to unite people. Many television programs devoted time to memorialize one of the true kings of justice and equality. His surname is such an appropriate fit.

Someone said that “Dr. King is more alive today.” He certainly lives collectively in the hearts of many Americans and people from all over the world. Many of us can recall and recite different excerpts from his famous speeches. Perhaps what we should remember more is that Dr. King knew that humanity had a life’s lesson to learn. He knew that it may not have been learned or internalized immediately. And five decades later, that lesson is just as pivotal.

We must be “appalled at the silence of good people.” Too many of us continue to accept injustice. Some of us prefer to look the other way when we see homeless individuals on the streets of every major city in this country.  This country, the greatest democracy in the world does very little to change the intolerable state of existence of homeless people.

Martin L. King III reminded us recently that the best way to honor Dr. King’s memory is to do something to eliminate the poverty in this country. He cited that there are 36 million Americans that live in poverty. That is appalling. Twelve million children live in poverty. That is appalling. Where have the good people been for the last fifty years? Jonathan Kozol warned us of the “Savage Inequalities” he observed a few decades ago in the poorer school districts of our more important cities. Not much has changed. This is appalling.

According to the census data compiled by Kids Count, in Louisiana, twenty-eight percent of people under the age of 18 live in poverty. Mississippi statistics report 30 percent and New Mexico falls in the third place with twenty-six percent of this age group living in poverty. This is appalling.

Dr. King spoke of the “triple evils of poverty, racism, and violence” and still fifty-one years later we have more prisons than ever to house our violent criminals. Yet very few opportunities for reform and for restructuring the individuals who need help the most. We are bombarded by violence everywhere from the children’s cartoons to television and movies. And, fifty years later, yes, racism is still alive.

Should we be concerned about the time that has elapsed? Well, according to Dr. King, “Time is never right and never wrong; time is what we make it.” So, it is about time that we make good use of the time. We must start a roll call at churches, schools, community centers, and any type of organization that claims in their statements of mission that any or all the triple evils have to be dealt with collectively. We must not only roll up our sleeves but be ready to remove all the obstacles that obscure or shroud the clock of time well used.

Many of us are so absorbed with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we share pictures taken with the pink colored lens. Many of us live in solos. We forget the importance of the real life community. We follow people we don’t even know just because they look good or cute. We accept what is posted on social media as the definite truths. We accept alternative facts as truth. We forget that our greatest strength as a nation is our votes. We van be the change. Dr. King proved that united we stand.

History views as prophetic Dr. King’s last speech that fatal day in Memphis. But, his very last words to Ben Branch, a musician, are mind-boggling.

Dr. King asked him to play his favorite song, Take My Hand, Precious Lord.

The following is an excerpt:

“When the darkness appears
And the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home”

Our nation is capable of making good of the time. We must think of ourselves as a great corporation. The stakeholders must all invest and help others to grow. We must keep our eyes on the clock and make sure that when the time comes for us to clock out that we have worked hard to effect social justice. We must emulate the work of the king of social justice and civil and human rights.

Our politicians need to roll up their sleeves and walk the walk. It is time. We must remember that Dr. King was only twenty six years old when he started his journey to effect change. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and was the youngest person to have received it at the time. He professed economic justice for all. He was here for a very short time; very much in the presence of good and with a great awareness of what needed to be done. We have a long way to go. Or do we? We are better equipped to get more people involved. There are no excuses. Are there?  I can’t think of one excuse that would exonerate us from our failure to act now. Representative John Lewis said that Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. “redeemed the soul of America.” We must live up to that redemption one by one.

 

 

 

My Favorite Dr. M.L.King Quotes


“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

These are just a few of my favorite quotes. I think they are timeless. I hope we reflect on his wisdom and move to act and do what Is right to honor him.