Yesterday was one of those days… A good day, that is. Actually, every day is a good day but yesterday was one of those days that took me back a bit. By back I mean all the way back to the Civil Rights Movement. You see, yesterday I decided to go down to the King Center in Atlanta to take a few pictures so that I could post for Black History Month. I did not see a sign that prohibited me from taking pictures and I’m not trying to profit off of the pictures I took so hopefully posting these pictures is lawful. Of course, the trip (about 25 minutes from home) for me was so much more than that. It really made me appreciate the struggle for freedom even more as I began to see the images of blacks marching, being beaten with batons, being sprayed with water hoses, and so much more. The struggle for freedom was so that generations of children would not have to endure some of the same challenges that were faced by our ancestors.
As a child living in North Carolina, I personally can remember seeing a “whites only” fountain. I can also remember having to sit in the balcony at the local movie theatre. And all of this was in the 60’s. I even remember going to segregated schools not by choice but because that is where we had to go. My first experience with integration was when I went to the 5th grade. I never faced some of the extreme hardships that some of our descendants faced but nonetheless, I can still identify with the struggle that they endured.
While I was at the King Center, I not only thought about Dr. Martin Luther King but I began to reflect on some of the names of the people like Hosea Williams, Ralph David Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, John Lewis(who I met recently), Jesse Jackson, and Coretta Scott King. I began to wonder what our lives would look like today with these pioneers. The sacrifice that they made for freedoms sake is poignant to say the least.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Coretta Scott Kings Burial Site
While there I had conversations with some of the people who were also there. Some with their young kids, some of various races, some on a mission to also reflect back on what their lives too would look like without these legends who risked their lives for justice. A black gentleman with his two young sons said to me that he really wanted his kids to get a good visual as to what things looked like for blacks in America just only a few decades ago. As I stood in one place I overhead a young white lady say to her mother “this is just horrible.” Pictures can only begin to tell the story of what has happened in the past, and in some instances what continues to happen even to this day. There are still too many stories about blacks getting beaten or killed by white cops and we’re in 2015. Let us to continue to march on…’til victory is won!
Clothes he wore on his journeyKing had bling