Sunday, December 11, 2011

Times they are a changing....I hope

It's been an interesting few days around here. Earlier this week I finally was able to read "The Help" and my wonderful husband got me a copy of the movie to watch. I have lived in Alabama for only 6 months but quite a bit of the story really makes sense for the historical places we have toured. I have even read sales ads for older homes that feature maid quarters. I watch the movie and wondered many times how much silver a household could have. I don't think I have one single piece of silver in my own home. I guess I wouldn't measure up to those times. The ladies in the book and movie seemed to be full of themselves. Wanted to smack some of the characters several times. I just needed to remember that this was a fictional story. However, I still have to wonder how much of it was based on true stories.
Yesterday, I took my Girl Scout troop to tour Lowndes County Interpretive Center on the Civil Rights Trail from Selma to Montgomery. We started our tour by watching a video that had many messages for the viewers. It opens with high school kids interviewing march participants. They had many frightening stories about the march including the 2 previous attempts of the march. However, the first message was that 60% of African American Selma residents are registered to vote. These people risked their lives and now the need to vote is gone.
The second message in the film was how badly the African Americans were treated. One white gentleman stated "Everyone thinks we all are equal. What a silly thing to say". What was more interesting was the reaction from my girls. They were very angry and wanted to take that man out.
We are a nation of many ethnic backgrounds. None of us are pure blood anything. I have many nationalities in my own background. I find it mind blowing that people from just 50 years ago would rather hate a person for their skin color or even religious beliefs than get to know them. Fear was ruling both sides. Fear of differences and fear of standing up for wrongs.
Watching my girls and hearing their responses was probably the best part of the tour. They can't understand the mindset of the people back then. Hopefully that continues. Our children accept those around them and encourage differences. Hopefully this is our future and our past is just that.....our past. An interesting thing to learn was that one of the gentlemen leading the march is now a state representative. Another gentleman was being honored by allowing the family to hold his funeral at this center. Times are changing....what a nice thing to see.

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