Wednesday, August 28, 2013

March on Washington - 1963 - 2013 - 50 Years

I remember my Aunt Bertha's (Caldwell - Sims - Rankins) reflection on the 1963 March on Washington.
Aunt Bertha said that she marched because our very human rights to exist in a country that we helped to build was under siege. Aunt Bertha said that a black man, woman and child should be treated as human beings, first class citizens in "Our Country 'tis of thee - sweet land of Liberty", and if we don't stand up for something, we will fall for anything. Aunt Bertha is 89 years old and still recalls their travels from Chicago, Il, to Washington DC.

Clarence B. Jones, writer - in- residence at Stanford University's Martin Luther King Jr. Institute, breaks it down when he says, "It was a stressful day." " I got a call - an urgent call - from Harry Belafonte, because we were getting enormous pressure from the parents of these kids to get them out of jail," Jones recalls.
The Rockefeller family wanted to help, so Jones had to fly to New York, go to a bank vault and sign a promissory note in exchange for $100,000 in cash. That meant, Jones explains, " when the creditor calls you and say[s], 'Pay me,' you pay that person."

So when he was helping King draft talking points for his speech, Jones suggested that event would make a powerful analogy.
"You know, coming here to like we are coming to our nation's capitol and ask[ing] to be repaid, or ask[ing] to be paid in full, on a promissory note," Jones says. "Well, there has to be sufficient funds in the vaults of justice in this country."

Indeed, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr used that image of a bounced check to assert that America had failed to live up to its promise. "It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned."  Dr.King Jr. stated from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. "Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'"

Food for thought: In 2013, the question is, what does Equal Rights, Fair Employment and First Class Citizenship mean to you? Who qualifies for these inalienable rights in the USA? Every American Citizen qualifies, right? ~ Your thoughts please...

Truly with Love & light,

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