On March 7, 2015, thousands gathered for the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama. The march took place in 1965 and I, just like President Barack Obama was too young to know then, but we certainly know now that it helped us to achieve our place and station in life today, despite our turbulent history with the stain of slavery for which we have not received reparations yet, the Civil War which my very own maternal great-grandfather fought in, the Jim Crow Era, and the death of those precious four little girls in Birmingham.
To God be the glory for the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., all the other civil rights leaders that stood with him and those brave souls who marched across the Edmond Pettus Bridge in 1965. So now in 2015, we have the first black President of the USA in office, all the accomplishments that you have made, and I as a black woman that descended from slaves (three generations ago) am college degreed (from TSU which is a HBCU), a world traveler, public servant, volunteer in my community, wife, mother, actress, author, and registered voter.
We can’t deny that we have made racial progress, but we still have work to do. The Justice Department determined that the Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri discriminated against Black residents and may have to be dismantled. This should be proof alone that we still have work to do. However, there are so many more examples if we just look around. For example, I spent the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday with my paternal family as we celebrated the homegoing of my cousin Apple-Jack, who was killed ten days prior by another Black man attempting to rob him (black on black crime). We can’t get too relaxed because the shadow of discrimination is still cast over the USA. We must keep our history alive and continue to teach the young kids. Black History should be 365 days, not just 28 days in February because if we forget our history and where we came from…future generations may be doomed to repeat it. I am thankful that my maternal cousin Gloria Jean Carroll invited me to travel to Selma, Alabama with her years ago to tour the Civil Rights Trail. That was a history lesson that was priceless. It brought words from books to life. I went into the basement of the church where the four little girls were killed and I walked across the Edmond Pettus Bridge to trace the footsteps of those who marched on “Bloody Sunday”.
The racist people should wake up and stop wasting energy on discriminating against minorities and/or Black people. This country has bigger fish to fry, larger issues that are a threat to Americans like terrorists that never sleep on ways to destroy the fabric of this great country. The terrorist do not care if we are white or black because all they see are Americans…which is all that we should see because we are equals. If organizations like the Ferguson Police Department would redirect their energy spent on ways to discriminate on Black people, focus on how to stop black on black crime, and focus on ways to keep our country safe from the threat of terrorism…that would be my dream as a way to honor the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday as we go forward.
Written by Pamela Jarmon-Wade ©
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