Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of research for civil rights.
I mean, I’ve had this whole big project on the Civil Rights Act and the impact that African-Americans made on U.S. History, and stuff like that.
And I could come to my blog here and just re-write everything I’ve already said in the essays that I wrote on it for my teacher, but instead, I’m going to be a writer. And I’m going to write a little short something on a future that could have been. And even better; IT’S GOING TO BE IN SECOND PERSON.
A sign above the fountain reads ‘Colored’. You walk towards it, hating with every ounce of your being that you don’t have the courage or the strength to stand up and walk to the white’s side.
This is your country too, you remind yourself. This is your home. Your mother works and pays taxes, like any other citizen. And yet, you’re both still less than these others. For what reason? Simply because your skin tone is darker than your ‘superiors’?
And what makes them your superiors? Who decided to take away your rights?
You shudder, hating to think of what your mother would say if she knew that you were thinking that way. You glance over at her as you walk back towards the street. She raises her eyebrows questioningly, opening her mouth to speak. You shake your head, not wanting to have to explain your thoughts to her. She’d only give you the same speech that she always had before: You are a great, magnificent person who may do great and magnificent things, but you’re colored and they’re white. Remember your place.
You sigh. A man walks towards you. A white man. You and your mother both respectfully lower your eyes and move towards to the side of the sidewalk, allowing him to pass before you move an inch. As he does so, he pauses a moment to spit at your mother’s feet.
You feel a surge of anger rise up in your chest, but you say nothing.You don’t know what you would say. Who ever heard of a black speaking disrespecfully to a white? Who ever heard of anyone speaking disrespectfully to a white?
Your mother’s eyes don’t miss a thing. She waits for the man to pass you, then pulls you to the side of a store. “You hold your tongue,” she hisses.
“I didn’t say a word,” you protest.
“You didn’t have to. Now get your black behind back home. I’ll finish my shopping on my own.”
Your mother warns you not to get into any trouble on the way home, and you promise to do as she says, because you know what happens to people who make enemies with the whites.
She begins to walk away, and you watch her disappear behind a corner, into an unsafe city alleyway. You worry about her, but you know that you wouldn’t have been able to protect her even if you had gone with her. The back door, however unsafe it might have been, is the only way for colored folk to get their groceries.
You sigh, wishing that you could do something about the conditions that you are forced to live with.
So yeah. That’s it.
Bottom line? Life would be pretty sucky if not for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So it’s good that we have a day to honor him. I know that I do. He’s… One of my many heroes.
I love you guys!<3