Monday, January 19, 2009

Free At Last......Free At Last !

Today being Martin Luther King Day and tomorrow being the Inauguration of the first African-American President of The United States of America.........I thought it appropriate to post about growing up in the racially torn Deep South.
I spent my early adolescent years in Houston,Texas, Shreveport, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee due to my Father being in Country Music. In 1961 ,my parents separated and my Mother, Brother, Sister and I moved back to our hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi to be near my Mother's family. I spent the next 13 years growing up here in what at the time, was a virtual hotbed of the Civil Rights Movement, moving back to Nashville in 1974.
On January 10, 1966 a local Civil Rights Activist, Vernon Dahmer's home was fire bombed by the Klu Klux Clan killing Mr. Dahmer. Vernon Dahmer was working vigorously to get blacks registered to vote. KKK Leader Sam Bowers and 13 others were arrested. When the trials started, my school teacher took us for a one day viewing. I have often wondered what her motive was.........? I don't have any recollection of what she did or did not say to us. All I remember is how horrified I was !
It instilled in me a fear of just how Evil the human race could become under certain prejudices.
It set the stage for my values of 'doing unto others' and determined not only how I would view racism for the rest of my life but how I would raise my three children to view it. From that day forward........I looked at the person, not their skin color and taught my children to do the same. Type in Vernon Dahmer on left search......

I have since carried the memory of a haunting photo which showed Vernon's four son's who were in the Military, in uniform viewing the ruins of their home. Four men serving their country who were not allowed to vote for the Commander and Chief !

It took 32 years for the Dahmer Family to see justice in their case and Thank God they did !
It truly is ..................A New Day in the Deep South ! God Bless President Obama and The United States of America, whose people's prayers have been answered !

The picture above is the front cover of the book:
" Prayin To Be Set Free "...Personal Accounts of Slavery In Mississippi, from the Real Voices, Real History Series


Reader Wil said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful and very worthy post! I know aso what racisme is, being raised in Indonesia. Racisme breeds racisme. We were white and during WWII we were interned in concentrationcamps.

Carol said...

Wil..........Bless your heart, you not only have lived it! I feel blessed that we both have lived to see the ending of it!

Vicki Lane said...

Nice post. indeed. And now we have tomorrow to look forward to!

NCmountainwoman said...

Very nice post. I have been re-reading "Eyes on the Prize" for the past few days. I will look for "Prayin to be Set Free."

Katherine Aucoin said...

I wish Obama the best, but I have a wait and see mindset regarding his presidency.

The W.O.W. factor said...

Where I was raised, there were no Blacks until my HS years, (and then there was only one, 2 yrs younger)even though it was filled with military. But I DO remember what I saw on TV and read in the papers. It horrified me and I could not believe humanity was so cruel!
I am glad I've lived to see this day...a long time in the making.