Thursday, October 19, 2006

Black Like Me

Certainly the bus incident and my mixed feelings about taking up for my girl friend, who was being ostracized for her father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, both had a lasting impact on my growing understanding of the need to speak out against the injustice of segregation.

Another character building influence that I remember was when I read the book, Black Like Me, by James Baldwin, sometime during my high school years. I think I read it several times, because I was absolutely fascinated by it. On one level I recognized so much of what he talked about, having always lived in a segregated Southern city. On another level, I felt like I was reading about another country, seeing into a world I never knew existed, even though it was only a breath away from me.

I never looked at a Whites Only sign the same way again. I came to realize that those who have privilege must make a conscious effort to see the many needs of those who do not have privilege, while viewing them as equals.

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6 comments:

Allen said...

Very true. Thanks for directing me to your site. Good read! I voted for your site today on Blog Village.

Dirty Butter said...

I thought you might be interested in reading them, Allen. Glad you stopped by, and thanks for the vote.

CyberCelt said...

I remember the White's Only drinking fountains, restrooms and places on the bus.

My parents were originally from New York and they were not prejudiced. In fact, the family business was a photography studio and they served anyone. I remember the window being broken and n.....-lover written on the door.

When I was in high school, segregation started. There was no problem at my school, but my sister was in junior high and they had riots.

We must never forget and never allow it to happen again.

Chana said...

it is your realizations and conclusions that you have made all along your journey in life that makes you so special. we are lucky to have you in our world for you make a difference. we need many more like you. morals, values, sense of decensy and respectful of others..

how i missed your post. i have many to make up for..i will in the next bit..i love your blog, it feels like home-like going back home to my childhood, in Boaco with my great-grandparents-thank you.

Dirty Butter said...

Your family was lucky, Cybercelt, that some ugly words in paint, and a broken window, was all that happened to them. You're right, we must never forget. Our duty is to be on the lookout for those who are being segregated in society today, whose voices are not being heard, and there are many.

Dirty Butter said...

It's good to see you posting again, Chana. My continued prayers for you.

You are too kind, as always. I've told my Civil Rights stories over the years to my 4th and 5th graders, so hopefully I have made a difference that I could not make when I was in high school.