Black history does not begin with American slavery, but look at this graphic so you can understand visually part of why this generation is still struggling with the impacts of that part of our collective American history. I am only 5 generations removed from a time when I would have been legally defined as property.
People like me have only had the federally protected right to vote as U.S. Citizens for 50 years (Voting Rights Act 1965). That is in my parents’ lifetime. Black people literally put their lives at risk whenever they voted before that Act was in place. Think about that.
We have made great strides as a nation when you consider the time but there is ever so much more work to be done. There’s a great deal of fear and misunderstanding still that grows into hate and sometimes violence. It hurts my heart to see and hear accounts of my fellow Americans who express a desire to return to a time in this country when MY people were denied our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness sometimes at the barrel of a gun or the end of a rope or worse.
No, you cannot have my freedom and how dare you claim to believe in the principles of this nation while in the same breath betray it by calling for the return to a time when segregation and human cruelty were the norm in the United States of America.
Education is one of the most powerful weapons against hate. The other is love. We have the power to heal the racial wounds of these United States. The real question to me is “Do we have the courage to do so?”