It’s Christmas 2009; I am grateful for family, for friends. I am especially appreciative of strangers, you know the kind you visit upon when at the Rite Aid or while you are flipping the TV channels on a Christmas afternoon.
Strangers: A couple of days before Christmas, I met a stranger at the local Rite Aid. He was buying Christmas lights. Boxes of lights filled his cart. “You have a lot of lights in that cart,” I said. He smiled, “Yeah. We have a contest in our neighborhood. . . Award is given to the house with the most beautiful decorations. Doing it for the wife,” he smiled.
As he said, “doing it for. . .,” my mind drifted to the importance of family. My mind traveled to another type of family unit in America-- the social/political/cultural family, specifically the Civil Rights Movement family. The foot soldiers of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 were family members. You remember. They were the 50,000 people who boycotted the buses in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 25, 1955, the boycott had just begun; the boycott participants had been walking some 20 days (The boycott started on December 5, 1955). They were fighting against chapter 6 section 11 of the Montgomery City Code; their intent was to boycott the city buses until bus segregation, meaning African Americans being made to sit on the back of the bus, was ended.
Indeed, this fight, this image of activism is an illustration of the African American’s commitment to creating an America where all people are given the rightful gift of equality. The folks who walked in Montgomery were faithful to the American idea of equality, and they fought for bus segregation to end on the grounds that it violated the fourteenth amendment of the constitution.
I turn the TV on to C-Span 2, and I receive a light, an intellectual Christmas gift from Roscoe Brown, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. The gift: We are not living in a Post Racial Society, Mr. Brown s says. We are living in a “Post Segregation” society.
Post Segregation society:
Indeed, as Americans we must work to move out of a Post Segregation way of thinking into an equality mindset. In the mean time, we must thank people like the Montgomery Bus Boycott foot soldiers and Roscoe Brown for their courage to fight on behalf of the American family.
Equality is a Christmas gift that brings light. That I do believe! Merry Christmas!!