The Civil Rights Movement, CRM

I came across a conversation between a group of young people, on the internet, discussing "the idea of the civil rights movement and why it did not work". I am inspired to share this article.

I grew up in Alabama during the 60's and 70's.

My High School experiences were stressful. I was in one of the classes that had to leave an all Black school to integrate an all white school. I attended the high school George Wallace Jr. graduated from the year before.

For those of you who don't know George Wallace or George Wallace Jr, Google the name.

I've seen both worlds segregated and not segregated. I do believe CRM gave us opportunities we would never have had, had not someone stood up.

The reason our present generation does not understand is they are living the benefits of that movement.

I remember stores, parks and even neighborhoods I could not go into until way into my teens. Today, we are free to go to any school, store, neighborhood, etc., we choose.

One instance that remains very vivid in my mind is my application to radiology school. Historically people of color were not allowed. After learning about the school, I developed a passion to attend. Against all odds I applied and was rejected by no response. Several times I inquired and no response. I have no other choice than to believe my application was overlooked due to ethnic origin.

Later, a member of my church, who worked at the school, told me the school screened applications and when the prospective student was a person of color, their application was discarded. Fearing possible repercussions, protest was not an option for me. Thank God for others who had the courage to stand.

Another I can remember is my father parking his car ten blocks away and walking to work. I was concerned and asked why, he replied, “if his employer knew he had a car he would be fired or demoted”. At that time, it was felt if people of color earned enough money to own a car they were being paid too much. Further, it just wasn’t socially acceptable, in many places, for people of color to progress financially.

To generations of today, intimidation and fear plague our lives, in particular, people of color. We endured until CRM helped to bring about positive change. I challenge and encourage you to continue being vigilant and wise, stepping upon the backs of people who sacrificed and stood for positive and practical change together (all races) that, in your old age and for future generations, life can also be much better.

Deb Garrison


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