My parents read me books, showed me videos: Bull Connor and his snarling dogs, fire hoses scattering marching crowds, restaurant counters gripped by tightened brown knuckles, stoic obstinacy in the face of persecution, of spit-flecked screams and limp bodies hung from thick branches. Separate water fountains, waiting areas, restrooms, classrooms. Historically, I was taught, we were seen as less. Inferior. Ugly. Stupid. Worthless. Worth less.
I absorbed these lessons, but they were filtered through a porous layer of antiquity. That was then, my psyche would whisper, this is now. Every day, I awoke to a world that felt irrevocably different from the horrors people like me had endured all those years ago. Childhood has a way of distorting your perception of a decade; adulthood corrects that distortion with a humbling rapidity.
– Read the full essay from WRBG editor Carla Bruce-Eddings here.
We can awaken completely. The best sign of which will be how we treat every being who crosses our path. For real change is personal. The change within ourselves expressed in our willingness to hear, and have patience with, the “other.” Together we move forward. Anger, the pointing of fingers, the wishing that everyone had done exactly as you did, none of that will help relieve our pain. We are here now. In this scary, and to some quite new and never imagined place.What do we do with our fear?
Do we turn on others, or toward others? Do we share our awakening or only our despair?
The choice is ours.
We are still the country that killed Emmett Till.
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