As I write this blog, I am reminded of what I read this morning as I read journal entries for March 7, 1965, and here’s what I read:
March 7, 1965 (Sunday) – A terrible black day for America occurred in Alabama. Civil rights marchers planning to walk from Selma to Montgomery were ordered not to by Governor George Wallace. However, the Negroes went ahead and were clubbed, beaten and tear gassed.
When I read this short item written on this date in 1965, I am reminded that I grew up as a segregationist in South Carolina. My parents had told me to be kind to colored people but that they were to be reminded of “their place.” I hate to admit that my wonderful parents were racist. It was a particularly strange racism in that colored people who worked in our home were treated respectfully except that they had to enter the house from the rear. They were given gifts on their birthday and were allowed to take days off when there was a family emergency, but they were paid a pittance. By then, they were only “half-slaves.” I’m so grateful that we have come as far as we have in improving race relations. After all we have the first Afro-American President. However, I’m afraid we still have a mighty long way to go.