Those Who Paved the Way

imageWith the recent release of the movie Selma it made me reflect on my road trip to Floria by way of Selma, Alabama. As I drove the historic route of the march from Selma to Montgomery, I could not help but feel a sense of sadness and pride for those that participated in such a tragic and historic march.

As I drove, I pulled over several times to take pictures of the march mile markers, as well as other historic landmarks. I kept envisioning how difficult the 54 mile march would have been in a time of injustice for the  privilege to vote.

My heart is often sad when I think bad on those days and hearing my mother share her experiences growing up in the south. To this day, my mother refuses to see any movie related to segregation. She explained to me she lived it, so there’s no need for her to see a movie about it. I felt sad when she shared some of her experiences as a child and a young women, but it helped me understand her reality.

This is why it is so difficult for me to understand the selfish behavior and lack of appreciation for those who paved the way for our future for us to live in a society where we’re still trying to mend the racial divide.

I take what my parents shared with me and my own experiences to try to be the best I can be. I make sure not to let those who risked their lives for equality go in vain. It often makes me sad to see others that do not realize what a blessing it is for us to have rights that we’re not afforded to our parents. How can you stand up for justice and not vote for things that impact your life?

My parents experiences helped me to be opened minded to those around me. I was never taught to hate or look at someone different because of the color of their skin. In elementary school, I was bused across town to an all white school, to desegregate our elementary schools, I was so fortunate to feel welcomed at my new school. My parents were very involved in my schooling and my father fast became friends with the principal.  I was fortunate to meet a wonderful new best friend Ronda C. Her parents and my parents were so wonderful in helping our friendship blossom. She often spent the night at each other’s house. I must say that experience helped mold me in to the person I am today.

All-in-all, I am grateful to live in a world where I have choices. I can go to restaurants and sit along side all nationalities of people. I am no longer required to enter and exit  through a back door, I can simply walk in the front door.

I thank those who came before me for affording me the privilege of living in a better world. As often said, when our skin is cut we all bleed RED blood.

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