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Thursday, August 22, 2013

March on Washington - Marking 50th Year Anniversary, August 28, 2013

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March on Washington - August 28, 1963 - August 28, 2013
August 22, 2013 | Personal thoughts and tributes of Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC about Civil Rights and the March on Washington - Freedom and Jobs, 1963 - 2013.

We are coming up to a very historic time in American History.  It is the 50th Anniversary of the famous March on Washington, August 28, 1963.  It is truly a sacred time for me, a 67 year-old African American woman from the south who protested with the NAACP and Lane College students against Woolworth (5 & 10 cents store) refusing to allow African American to eat at the lunch counter.  It was my first assertion of independence of "advocating and fighting for my people's rights".

Greensboro first day

Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond leave the Woolworth store after the first sit-in on February 1, 1960. 
(Courtesy of Greensboro News and Record)
Woolworth's Store
February 1, 1960 - Lunch Counter protest - 4 College students - Greensboro, North Carolina

The Woolworth store protest was a nation-wide protest for eating privileges in public places.   We could spend our money to purchase goods in the store, but could not sit down as Caucasians and eat at the lunch counter.  I remember the "White Only" and "Colored Only" discrimination of water fountains and restrooms in public.   I remember the African American code to:  "get home before dark", for fear of being targeted by wrong-thinking and acting Caucasians. I remember that even though I was in college student and studying for a degree, I was referred to in a derogatory and inferior way.  
Fannie Lou Hamer was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader.
Organizer for ''Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee/SNCC" in Mississippi
The March represented Fanny Lou Hamer's famous quote,   
"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."
– Fannie Lou Hamer

It represents a time that my people were moving-the-needle of Civil Rights towards JUSTICE.

It was a time, when an African American man, true leader, scholar, minister, husband, brother and father from the south, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lead the people to the most historic demonstration to-date, over 250,000 people.  His courage and the courage of his immediate team pulled righteousness from the People during a time of so much racial strife and injustices to us by Caucasians.  

The bullying and misuse of power in laws.  The bullying and abuse of law enforcers.  The miscarriage of justice that allowed Caucasians to disobey the law and get away with it.  

The "for-the-hell-of it" lynching and castrating of African American men of our race - our sons, fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers.  The taking of property - share cropping or otherwise, refusing to pay rightfully earned wages - wage-equity wages, refusal to allow to vote, spraying jetted water and advancing dogs while we protested, bombing of property and denial of human-civil rights.  

The creation of laws and denial of voting privileges for equal access and rightful privileges as "born-in-America citizens".  The infrastructure that allowed "privilege" for Caucasian while demonizing and denial of equal access to quality of life and economics that provide "self-sustaining" success for African American.  The normalcy of servitude by fire.  That double/triple plus culture of privilege perpetuates today's discriminations and denials.  It gives Caucasian benefits not earned, 50 years later.

It is why I hit-the-the-floor running every day seeking to do my part for the "security of justice" that Martin talked about - that we fought for in demonstration marches; that we suffered in segregation, appearance of change, but suffered in our blood, sweat, beatings, lynchings, castrations of our males, drowning with weights, burned, shot, tortured, secret burials and enduring concentrated poverty - the justice for the Negro race does not run-down like water - this nation has not risen to the its creed - the truth that all men are created equally and entitled to their rights.  

I am reminded and I remind others - starting with the African Americans who sometimes appear that they have forgotten and/or unaware that getting a degree or two, advancing the corporate structure, having money is not wealth, having iconic credit cards, leading the country, it is all for naught if our brothers and sisters are caught up in a vicious cycle of violence, re-cycling prison terms, concentrated poverty, lack of education and technology attainment for today's employment and careers - not to mention that they in all their glory can be and are reminded constantly of the "racial" hatred that is still alive by Caucasians.

This was graphically seen in the comments of "give me back my country" and "open demonstrations against" President Obama.

The divisive manner of our Congress to defeat the Affordable Health Care law for the country.  The wild and selfish claims for letting the rating of the country drop, to prove the point that it could be done and they a twisted view and calling it their American right (it very well could be their American right, but others have RIGHTS that trumps their unfairness - and, there is a majority vote here on the table - The law was signed by the president, President Barack Obama and ratified by the Supreme Court, our law process for the land).  Guess what, they are still calling for appeal - some of these are folk who are in the process of "gaming the system" for their own pleasure and wealth by firing-up the individuals without clear thinking and common sense in their decision making).

The extreme behavior simmered in misguided privilege and racial bias during the last presidential election, goes along way in saying the March on Washington, this August 28, 2013, is needed as a reminder to all, we have so much to do in this country for ensuring that everyone has rights to be respected and revered for the safety, health and justice for all. 

His truth marching on
Yes. President Barack Obama's Inauguration drew a much larger number of people to the Washington Mall, however, it was the King March in 1963 that set the stage for Obama's great day in history, Tuesday, January 20, 2009, and without it, he would not have been there.

So, we remember the call of the "I Have a Dream speech".
So, we honor Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., Representative John Lewis and ALL who forged the agenda for "change" in Freedom and Jobs.  We, are still in the struggle today.

President Barack Hussein Obama, 44th President, will deliver his message for the people on August 28, 2013, for the 50th Anniversary in the same spot as Dr. King, Jr.

Catch up on your history

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