The first time, I listened to the song Glory written by Common and John Legend, after winning their Oscar, I cried. I’d heard it before but knowing they’d won the coveted Oscar (Academy) Award for Glory really brought it home for me. You see, I’m a Seventies child. I was born at the beginning of the Civil Right’s Movement and completed high school at the height of the movement. I’ve lived through the days depicted in the movie Selma and can vividly remember those times.
As I listened to the song Glory the day after the Academy Awards and then John and Common’s acceptance speech my mind traveled back to the days of my childhood. I thought of my mother and the days she stood waiting for the bus in the cold of winter, the heat of summer, rain and snow to make a meager living to care for my brother and me. I recalled her dream that her four children wouldn’t have to work hard as she did. My two older sisters were grown and on their own at that time, but mom still had a dream for the four of us.
My mind continued to travel back in time as I thought of my ancestors from Africa and how I’m alive today because someone survived the Middle Passage. I imagined them here in this country, toiling in the scorching sun on someone’s plantation; their skin dry and blistered, their mouths cracked and bleeding from dehydration. Yet, they labored on because they, too, had a dream. A dream of freedom for them and their children.
I sit here today with my own dreams. Dreams for my son and my niece and nephew; the apples of my eye. I want for them all what our ancestors marched and fought and died for. I want for them the right to vote as they desire. The right to eat in any establishment while sitting in any seat they choose. The right to attend whichever institution of higher learning they prefer. The right to be as Dr. King said “judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.” I want for them the fulfillment of their dreams without compromise. Now, there are those out there who will say, Savannah those things are already in place. Well, allow me to assure you in some places in this modern world, those rights still are not in place.
We must continue as a collective people to fight for the rights of all those living impoverished lives: For African-Americans still struggling for equal rights in this country. For the return of the pride felt by Native Americans who welcomed the first Europeans to this country, only to end up on reservations. For other cultures who’ve migrated to the United States for better lives only to be restricted from moving forward because their accents are a little different from ours. We must fight for women working twice as hard as their male counter-parts yet making half the wages. We must put a final end to human trafficking, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and all other despicable acts perpetrated against those too weak to fight for themselves. Until all receive what the United States defines as equal rights we must continue fight because everyone matters.
Savannah J, providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life.
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