The 50th Anniversary of MLK’s march on Washington reminds us of the great strides we have made in overcoming the racial prejudice that existed during the era when the political machine took on a whole new color.
If you click on the image of Martin Luther King, Jr. you will see a video from “Rolling Stone”. The following link tells the stories of people who lived through the transitions of the era. Their stories should not be forgotten.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or “The Great March on Washington“, as styled in a sound recording released after the event, was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech advocating that racial harmony should prevail upon the march. (Wikipedia)
The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, under the theme “jobs, and freedom”. Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 to 300,000. Observers estimated that 75–80% of the marchers were black.
Racism results from oppression, poverty and ignorance. These three things are the greatest influences on society’s reluctance and inability to become more than tolerant, but to embrace and accept the changing tide in this country.
I have been reading many articles and blogs on the issues of racism over the past few days, and what I am seeing is that interracial relations are currently considered, “Trendy.” My daughter, who has racially mixed children, agrees. I can only pray that it is much more permanent than trendy.
My granddaughter has the Hispanic phenotype of her father, a Puerto Rican. My grandson has the Arian phenotype of his mother, a German/English/Cherokee. The Puerto Ricans are a mix of Spanish, African-American, and Island Indians. They are a mixed race family and not unlike many families in the Orlando area. My daughter feels that, while we are far from “post racial”, we are moving closer toward an accepting society where race is less of an issue than it was 50 years ago, but her life experiences with these children let her know that we are not there yet.
She has had people ask her if she was babysitting. She has had people ask her if she adopted, and to go so far as to congratulate her on adopting, “Typically less than adoptable children.” She has had day care staff members assume that she was picking up a child other than her own daughter simply because she is white and her daughter is not, asking her for I.D. to prove she is the parent of the child.
The Trayvon Martin-Mark Zimmerman case reminds us that there is much progress to be made if we are to truly see people and not color. I am hopeful that we can get there soon.
“Red Clay and Roses” speaks to the issue of racism as it was fifty years ago, and to the issue of Civil Rights and Women’s Rights. It is fiction based on the true stories of those who lived during the era and faced the challenges of it directly. It is an historical reminder why we should strive for acceptance and assure that we never go back to where we were fifty years ago. These are issues worth remembering.