Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rev. Nan says

On the eve of this civil rights pilgrimage I gathered with women I've know for almost 30 years who live in B'ham. We sat around the dinner table talking of our experiences during the 60's, remembering where we were in our lives at that time. My two friends, sisters, were both in college. Both Baptist liberal arts schools, one in B'ham and the other in Mobile, Alabama. They are daughters of a Baptist minister in Mobile County who, at the time, was a man who understood the true sense of what it meant to be a Christian. He modeled for his daughters how to treat people no matter their skin color and these two women have lived their lives accordingly. The woman who was in college in B'ham at the time, told of how she and her student friends were told not to leave campus and go downtown B'ham or they would be expelled. And like a good liberal thinking woman, she did exactly that - took her car with classmates and headed downtown. Her memory was that she was very afraid while driving around downtown but also curious as to what was really happening between blacks and whites. She did not get expelled from college but she did gain a better sense of what was not being talked about in school or around a dinner table. The southern way has always been to not talk about it. It being, black and white relationships, even though we all grew up with either living near blacks, or working with blacks, or having a black working for our parents in our homes. The bottom line for us southern women around this dinner table last night, is that we were talking about it. And how refreshing it was for me, and hopefully everyone else around the table, to feel free to talk sbout our experiences and learn from our silent history. In my estimation silence is not golden.

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