Friday, February 3, 2012
A Brain Fart by Miss Fanny: THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!
I’ve been on this earth a long time and one of the advantages of having lived for eighty something years has been that I’ve lived through a part of the American history that my great-grandchildren are reading about these days. Nobody can put their spin on my reality. I’ve been there, done that and seen it.
As a member of a minority race in this country, I’ve come face to face with the "Colored Only" signs that are seen on TV in grainy black and white newsreels. Not only were they present in the South, where I come from, but in the North where I moved to later. I’ve seen them in restaurants, in hotels, in bathrooms, in public parks and in movie theaters. Shoot! I’ve seen them in hospitals and even in grave yards. During my lifetime, minorities have been discriminated against from birth to death. Now that’s hard-core when folks continue that segregation mess after you're dead.
It’s been something knowing that I’ve done my small part in helping make some of the changes for the better that eventually came about in this country. When my cousin, Susie, was walking ten miles round trip to and from work during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I saved up and bought her two pairs of the most comfortable pair of shoes that I could afford and sent them to her with a note that read: Keep on Walking!
I was at the church, right here in my adopted hometown in the north, when in victory black folks held up the “White Only” sign that used to hang in the local amusement park. Before it was forced to integrate, black folks could only enter the park gates once a year.
Whenever he came to our city, I went to see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak. Nearly every time he was here there was some sort of bomb threat, but I never let that stop me from going. When buses were organized to go to the March on Washington, my late husband and me were the first couple in our church to sign up. I was there when the “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered. I was also in Atlanta when they buried Dr. King. We drove all night to get there and arrived in time to stand with thousands of others outside of the church where his service was held. We also followed the mule-drawn wagon to his burial site.
Yes, I’ve lived a lot of the history and when I’m gone, and others like me are gone, there won’t be any more firsthand accounts about what really happened. That’s why Black History Month is so important. Any chance to discuss the contributions of all of this country’s citizens should always be encouraged. If things like Black History Month didn't exist, I’m sure that the history that I have lived and lived through would get lost due to lack of interest, or it might get distorted because people don’t like to hear the truth about what happened “way back then”. America doesn't like to talk about race. Too many folks think that if you talk about it then people will get upset.
There’s a saying that goes ‘the truth will set you free’. I say, let that truth shine, and learn as much as you can about the history that helped shape this nation—all of the history, good and bad. Now muse on that.