Before I left my house to walk to my polling spot this November Election Day, I put on this button that says, “Birmingham 1963 Foot Soldiers Reunion: Inspired by What We Did for Ourselves – And the World.”
I rode a bus to President Barack Obama’s Inauguration in 2009 with some of those ordinary but heroic men and women called Foot Soldiers, who as children had taken part in the 1963 demonstrations during the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement.
The button reminds me that they, and thousands of others I don’t know, paid a heavy price just so that they and I — we — had basic civil rights, including the right to vote. After 50 years, it sounds bizarre that people who looked like me were denied the voting right and other rights due to any U.S. citizen, particularly in the larger Southern society, just because of skin pigmentation. Continue reading →