I’d like to see these three African Americans appear in our history books.
“You have the ability to change something each day of your life. Believe it or not, people, it can’t happen without you.” – Lynda Blackmon Lowery
Lynda Blackmon Lowery
An amazing hero was a fourteen year old teenage girl who took part in the Selma bridge crossing. For her it was truly a Bloody Sunday. A sheriff beat her so badly that she required 28 stitches in her back of her head and seven over her eye. She still has a scar over her eye. Her name is Lynda Blackmon Lowery. She had such strength, that she recovered from her injuries and went on the March to Washington in August of the same year. Ms. Lowery has written a book called, Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March. Watch what she had to say on youtube:
Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white woman, fifteen year old Claudette Colvin protested in Montgomery, AL. She took the bus home from her high school on March 2, 1955. On that day when the bus driver ordered her to get up, she refused and said that since she had paid the fare, it was her constitutional right to stay put. Two police officers cuffed arrested her and put her in jail. She was so frightened in jail she started crying. Then she said the Lord’s Prayer to calm herself. After her arrest she was shunned by her own community.
Claudette Colvin is also important because she challenged the law in court as one of four women plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the court case that successfully overturned bus segregation laws in Montgomery and Alabama.
Rosa Parks is still very important to American History and her story should still be told, but Claudette Colvin’s story should be more widely known, too. Part of the reason Colvin was forgotten is she moved to New York City and did not tell her story. Now her story is being told in: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phil Hoose.
A few weeks ago, I learned about a man named Bass Reeves who was probably the real inspiration for the “Lone Ranger”. He was a marshal in the Oklahoma area who brought more than 4,000 felons to justice. Bass spoke an Indian language, probably which he learned from the Seminole, and he had an Indian partner. Bass Reeves was an African American and a former slave.
Learn more about him at http://www.npr.org the show “All Things Considered” from 2/14/2015. The segment was called: “‘Strange Fruit’ Uncelebrated Quintessentially American Stories”
These are three individuals who you probably won’t find in an American History book. WHY? Why is it that even today we still do NOT have completely integrated US history. Most high school history books are still predominantly about white males in US history. Isn’t it time to turn over a new leaf? Isn’t it time to give VOICE to all the important people in our American History and NOT base who is included in it by their skin color or whether they are a man or a woman?
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey