Friday, May 14, 2010

I Am The Change

The 60’s. We carried signs, we protested, we stood up to prejudice, we were going bring about a new world. Did we?

An invitation was sent to each member of the graduating class of 1959 in Macon, Georgia.

“I never went to school with any girls or any black kids,” explained Jay. “We were all segregated. The blacks went to school with the blacks, the girls with the girls and the guys with the guys.”

Jay had gone to his class reunion, a reunion the graduates were not expecting. In past years each segment of the class of ’59 had met separately, the same way they had gone to school. However, this year one of the graduates who had a fruitful career paid for a different reunion, a reunion with assigned seating.

The initial invitation met with moderate response. The organizer sent a second notice telling the older graduates to get over it and go to the reunion. A few more graduates replied.

“So what was it like?” I asked.

“I sat with three black women and three white women. It was great. I loved it!” Of course he did. Jay was one who saw the divisions when he was a boy wondering if it would ever change.

After 51 years, the class was finally integrated. Shades of humanity were intermixed as equals. Men and women sat together. Classmates who were never in class together sat together at the reunion tables. The lines of discrimination that we had sworn to erase in the 60’s were finally tackled by a man who said “Get over it.”

I’m disturbed that there are still people full of anger and prejudice. I’m disturbed that there are groups continuously plotting against others. I wonder what happened to those kids of the 60’s. Yes, many did go on to make change, but we still have hate that threatens, kills and destroys. Children are still raised believing that not all are equal.

I belong to a large family. It is the family of man and womankind. It is a family that has no color. I believe that if all parts of this family are vital to the energy and survival of the earth. I believe that we are all part of God. I guess I can’t change the world. I admire those who step up with the power and resources they have to make a difference. Still I can make a difference in my family and with every person I meet. I am the power. I am the source. I am the change.

So are you.

2 comments:

  1. Such beautiful, resonating words. I agree with every one of them. I remember a beautiful book Life magazine put out in the 60's called 'The Family of Man'. It was filled with photographs of humankind in every hue and circumstance. I remember spending hours pouring over this book tracing my finger along the haunting images, feeling that I was a part of something bigger than myself.

    Change comes one person at a time. A long time ago I told myself that when I encountered prejudice, usually in the form of jokes or innuendo, I would speak up. It's become a habit now.

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  2. I remember that issue. I wish I still had a copy. Our histories are filled with haunting images that each generation wants to erase. Maybe we need to remember in order to change.

    Thank you for sharing. I love hearing from you.

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