I grew up in 1960. (written by Via)
Right in the middle of the Civil Rights movement. I grew up when the marches were taking place and black men were getting lynched for trying to register people to vote. I knew none of this was going on at the time. It wasn’t until the 70’s when there was a resurgence of Black Awareness that I became aware of what really happened in the 60’s.
What I vividly remember was the tension. The tears of the adults around me and the fear When Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, I saw my mother cry for the first time. I remember the fear and extra caution when moving around the city. I heard snippets of conversations that had scary undertones. That was the first time I felt unsafe in my city because of the color of my skin.
I was 6 years old. The kids I went to school with looked like me. The kids I played with looked like me. There were subtle changes, though. I couldn’t play outside or walk to school unless there was a group of us. I was 10 years old before I went to school with other races. I was in middle school, the first time I had a teacher that wasn’t white. Middle school in the 70’s made me fully aware that I wasn’t safe in my school because of the color of my skin.
Several times, my peers and I were put off the school bus. Some insults have been flung, some slights have been felt by those in authority. So the “black bus” had to walk home. Those were the days we had to fight to get home, because home, the “projects,” was sandwiched between two all-white communities. We had to walk through one, get cussed at, chased, and spit on just to get home. I have been denied employment, housing, and childcare because of the color of my skin.
Now, in 2022, there is a renewed anger against discrimination, segregation, separation, etc. I am glad young people will not agree with a watered-down version of freedom. I am glad people are defending the homeless and the innocent. It makes me sad too. We have been here before. We tend to let the passion fade. Then the same old prejudices and petty grievances roar back. Louder! Scarier! Angrier!
I want this time to be different. I pray our changes will last. I hope real unity is found. Then the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King had will no longer be a dream.
Remember, You can always call your sister. 💕