I made the trip to Selma Alabama for 2 reasons. They were for understanding and support. Today, I was attending the Selma 50th anniversary commemoration. (I do not mean to sound biased in any way at all. I do feel that Selma has played an important part in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.) I can only imagine how the people felt on Edmund Pettus Bridge that Sunday.
I listened to President Obama’s speech. He delivered one of his BEST speeches yet. I look around and I see the crowds of people that have come to Selma this weekend for this anniversary. Then I wonder, how many will come back next year for the 51st, 52nd, 53rd, and 54th anniversaries. Will it be this many people here? I know the movie, Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay was released just a couple of months ago. With respect to Ava and her beautiful work, I have seen how this movie has gotten the attention of those who were not aware of what occurred and how it may have affected them. Yet and still, I see most people in the crowd only showed up to capture a glimpse of Presidents George W. Bush and/or Barack Obama, Oprah, Ava DuVernay, and other celebrities that have come to the town.
What about the REAL TRUE reason of being in Selma today? What about understanding the CONTINUOUS fights in Civil Rights that exist today? What about realizing that these people DID NOT have to go through this for you? What about looking around and realizing that these people among you have to have the determination and strength to continue on this legacy and fight for your rights? It is nice to have a picture with the President(s) and meet these other celebrities that you may look up to. But do you understand the magnitude of what all of this truly means?
The media has portrayed this as almost a phenomenon. Look at the different cultures in the crowd! Look at how far you have come! America is better today!… But is it? African Americans have progressed a good bit from 50 years ago. However, will you teach your children to appreciate this? When I reflect and look back upon this, 50 years is not a long time.For Selma’s 100th anniversary, will you be there with your children telling them the stories you were told; what you witnessed; what the speakers said and the difference it made in your life; will it even be on the news? Will it be something in history that the media says, “Well Black people have made it this far…let’s not mention it.”? Will the Civil Rights movement become a figment of our imagination? Will we let history become history all in the name of lack of understanding?
Today has changed my view on the media and a lot of other things. Stereotypes, differences, and etc. are all here. But are they here for the right reason? Is it for all types of media glorification and attention OR understanding and supporting where the past and present will bring in the future? Regardless of your race, background, religion… you are here… What will you carry on with you?
SURVEY!!!!! Please feel free to comment or share.
Do you know about the Bloody Sunday event that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement? If so, what are your thoughts. If not, please research it and share your thoughts.
Your comments are appreciated.