Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To My Brothers and Sisters, Past and Present

Today we went to a slavery reenactment. I've been on this trip for 4 days now and today was the first time that I felt personally connected to everything that I've been experiencing. I've been able for the past few days to view the Civil Rights Movement from the inside of my personal fortress - I've been comfortable and safe and been able to "other" the details, people and events that are as apart of me as the people before me. Today, however, I was both physically and emotionally removed from my safe house. I felt the pain of the generations of women before me  who were robbed of their children, happiness, safety, humility, dignity, sacredness of body, mind and soul. I felt the mother's agony as she crawled across the floor begging for help, for mercy, for the redemption of a promise that was made by her master to not allow this injustice to happen again. Her pleas went unanswered, her request unheard as my heart wept for her and reality was suddenly revealed to me as though I had been physically blind - my blindness was worse because it was a social blindness. I knew slavery happened but I was ignorant to think it is a history separate from my own. It is not "Black History" verse "History" - the social device that further devides US from THEM making it seem as though our histories happened at different times instead of being intertwined and interrelated. I think I learned more about myself today and the broader shared identity that I have with all people past and present, of every shade, of every consequence than I have ever been conscious of my entire existence.

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