Selma: 13 years before I was born

Tomorrow, March 7th marks the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma Alabama.

Let that sink in.

I am 37 years old and just a mere 13 years before I was born African Americans were still fighting for equal rights. 13 years before I was born people were beaten in the streets for peacefully protesting. 13 years before I was born men could pull you out of your home and beat you to death and get away with it. 13 years goes by so quickly. And 13 years before I was born all of this was happening.

I am struggling while I write this fighting back tears, because 13 years before I was born my parents could have been beaten, even killed for being in love and having me.

The struggle is still happening and I can’t wrap my head around why it is so damn hard for people to see that we are all just human! That love is love, and just let it be. The color of your skin, or your gender does NOT make you superior or less than. That respect is earned not beaten into you. That rape is not a joke. It’s been 50 years, 13 years before I was born and I don’t think we have done enough for equality for EVERYONE. It’s been 50 years, 13 years before I was born and while we have come some way we have not come that far.

But I have learned something from reading about the Civil Rights Movement including articles on the 50th
Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and watching Selma, there was more headway made through nonviolent protests and civil disobedience led by Rosa Parks, John Lewis, James Farmer and Amelia Boynton in a 2 decade span (1950’s & 1960’s) then there has been in the last 50 years. I think we need to not just hear Dr. King, but live his example.

This weekend, if you haven’t already watched it, I encourage you to watch Selma. Or if you don’t have 2 hours to spare, then take 10 minutes to read this or if you can watch the actual footage from Bloody Sunday.

And remember Dr. King’s words:

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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