My Uncle’s Shoes are Weathered and Worn, but they Still Remain True

Everywhere I go I hear that “history is repeating itself,” because race has reemerged as a focal issue in American society, but I tend to disagree with that sentiment because the struggle has never ended and it has only been off the radar of those least impacted by a racially unjust system. History is not repeating itself, this is not the Civil Rights Era happening all over again; Civil Rights, the right, the guarantee that our claim to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” will not be infringed upon and if so, our rights will be protected by guardians of justice, Civil Right to live in a civilization of civil people; was never won and thus, never ended. I am sure that the circles that I am affiliated has quite a lot to do with what I hear because I am an activist and an organizer bent on achieving social justice and so are many of the people I associate myself with; and I do not remain isolated in one group of to one type of people. I network and work with people of all ethnicities, socioeconomic status, age, and background depending on the situation and goals to be achieved. Needless to say, opinions and analyses of the condition of the United States of America and the many diverse people who live here, varies from group to group, and from individual to individual, but there is a common them, the Civil Rights Era has returned. Maybe what some of them mean is that people are actively engaged in making a difference and are not idly laying down and submitting to the humiliation and frustration of unjust oppression any longer. Either way, since, I am engaged in a conflict that is generations deep and our predecessors have encountered many struggles similar to those that I and the people who are also engaged in achieving social justice are encountering or will encounter, I figured the best way to learn how to address these obstacles is to learn directly from the people who lived and died fighting for what I too, believe. This is why I have I elected to participate in the Pilgrimage to Selma, where the historic march across the Edmond Pettus Bridge with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 took place, known today as “Bloody Sunday.” I neither have the slightest notion of what I will learn, nor what I will bring back with me from the pilgrimage. I do however know, that I am being called to trace the steps of our predecessors because I believe they have something they want me to feel; something that will inform and guide my steps and choices as I move forward with our people into a future when we will not have to question whether it is safe to walk to the store or visit my family on the other side of town; whether this is the last morning that I kiss my partner and wish her a wonderful day as we leave the house and part ways because the color of my skin got the worst of somebody. I am particularly troubled though, whereas in the 1960s our predecessors might suffer excruciating pain for what must have seemed like an eternity, they nonetheless were being killed or harmed for but a relative period of time. Today however, the death that is wrought upon us is a social and economic death wherein we become digital leapers that bars us access to nearly every resource and opportunity available to the average citizen; we quite literally are relegated to the “Walking Dead,” sentenced to a pittance of hardship, servitude, and destitution. I am hoping to learn from our predecessors how they were able to muster the courage to oppose such ruthless violence and hatred with their heads held high, so that I might also earn that level of faith.

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