Monday, January 16, 2006

The Long Ride Home

I visited my Aunt Bert this weekend, who also happens to be my oldest living relative that I am close to who I can talk to about anything. I told her my daughters were asking me about the civil rights movement and since I am too young to remember what it was like, could she talk to them. She told me everything you hear is just what it was and everything good said about Dr. King is exactly what is was. My Aunt grew up in South Carolina and at 80 years old she remembers segregation. She said they would go to the five & dime to buy ice cream and they would have to stand at the side window and pay for their cone while the clerk passed it through the window, careful not to touch them while the white patrons sat at tables laughing and talking while eating their ice cream. It wasn't until years later after the civil rights movement, when she and her daughter went back could she enjoy sitting at a table. She told me how she and my mother would go to the movies in SC and had to go in a separate entrance and pay a separate ticket taker and sit in the balcony and look down to see the same movies as whites. A lot of people like to bring up negative things about Dr. King to prove that he was not perfect, no man is, but no matter what they can't take away all of the good things he did. My Aunt has nothing but admiration for Dr. King and thanks for what he did not only for black people but the awakening of race relationships around the world. He gave voice to the suffering in silence of a race of people. Lastly she told me how people talk about sitting on the back of the bus, but don't mention how trains were segregated too. She and most of my family migrated to Philly, but would still go to SC to visit. If the train became full with white people the black people had to give up their seat on the train too. I don't know what kind of memories this evoked for her, because my aunt is solid as a rock ( I've only seen her cry a few times in my life like when my mother died) but her eyes welled up a little as she said, "That made for a long ride home".
Thank you Dr. King.

2 comments:

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

WOW....that's amazing. Its amazing what those before us went through so we can have what we do today.......

stephanie said...

Thank you Dr. King. His work was amazing and universal, and so what the world needed!

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