It seems so long ago when I interpreted at the Manassas, Virginia Civil War Days.  It was 2013 and how naïve I was to think all was well in the world. Since that photo, many feel we are in another Civil War. We have civil discourse unknown in my lifetime. We see levels of racism and bigotry far exceeding my imagination. As a child of the 60s, I listened to my mother tell stories of her denied civil rights.  For example, when mom went to Washington D.C. to purchase shoes she was not allowed to try them on.  She traced her foot on a piece of paper and presented it to the sales clerk.  The clerk went to the stock room, returning with the shoes to purchase. She was not allowed to try on dresses or hats.  Mother was only allowed in the basement of certain department stores in  D.C. I ask you, is this making America Great Again? 

Over twenty years ago, when I started interpreting the enslavement of my ancestors and the lives they lived in bondage, I had no idea how little our country knew of the suffering and hardships African Americans had to endure. Few are taught in school the social death of bondage. The separation of families and the sheer mental torture of not knowing you, or your family’s fate, is beyond my scope of understanding. Yet, in my lifetime, I see the separation of families at our southern borders. 

Furthermore, in 2020, Black men and women are killed at larger numbers than whites, by the very people who swore an oath to protect. No, I don’t advocate defunding the police, but I am for justice for all. If a sixteen-year-old boy can shoot and kill two protesters and the police NOT gun him down, then a woman, sleep in her bed needs the same rights. Our LGBTQ brothers and sisters deserve the right to love and marry who they choose. Women must have the right to choose what is best for their own bodies. DACA folks need a pathway to citizenship. DACA’s are educated, hardworking, have no criminal records, and love this country.  So, I ask, why is it so hard to allow women the right to choice, LGBTQ the right to love and marry, DACA the right to citizenship, and Black folks the right to live?  Just asking.

Civil War Days, Manassas Virginia