Monday, August 31, 2009

We've Come A Long Way Baby...???

     I had something completely different in mind for my blog post when I awoke this morning...but the day sort of got away from me and I didn't get to it right away. It's funny how that happens sometimes, you get sidetracked and before you know it your whole day has taken you far from where you started.
    My son and I watched 'The Express' on HBO this evening and it left me feeling that I needed to share what was in my heart. For those of you who may not know of Ernie Davis (whose life story was profiled in the film) He was a young man growing up in the 50's and early 60's who had a great passion for football. To say he was talented is an understatement. Ernie was one of three black athletes that played for Syracuse University during his college years. The movie chronicles alot of the prejudice that he and his team endured and how he used his talent to try and make a difference in peoples' views about blacks. He went on to be the first black athlete to win the Heisman Trophy (which up to that time was not awarded to black players), and helped Syracuse win their first National Championship and finally the Cotton Bowl.
   These were turbulent times, some of us may be old enough to remember, others of you studied about this period in history class. We all know the story of Rosa Parks and we celebrate Martin Luther King Day each year in this country with a national holiday, but do we really stop to think about what life was really like for people living in that period of history. There was alot of racial unrest during that time, places that were for whites only, blacks had to endure seperate bathrooms, schools, hotels and even building entrances.
   Yesterday I watched 'The Human Family Tree' on National Geographic Channel. The program did a scientific study of genetics and mapped out the origins of our human DNA using volunteers from a street fair in Brooklyn, all nationalities, all different religions, all different races from across the globe. It was a glorious patchwork quilt of humanity! Guess what, all human origins can be traced back hundreds of thousands of years to a small region in southern Africa. Through migration, possible during ice ages, (when land masses were connected) we all came from this one spot. That was the 'Garden of Eden' as it were, and whether you believe in God as I do or simply believe in life originating from some 'big bang theory', or primordial soup, we are all connected, all from a common gene pool!
   This got me to thinking how the 'bigots' of the 50's and 60's portrayed in the movie would feel about that...I'm sure some ancestors are turning over in their graves. There are still those today who would rather die than claim kinship with someone from another race, religion, or country. We like to think we've come a long way since then, but we still have so far to go. You have simply to look at this world's pain, the genocide, the inequality to see we've much work to do. The task seems daunting but if we take it one small piece at a time we can make a difference.
   I have never had much of  a stomach for social injustices of any kind, whether it be racial, religious, or social. I guess I can thank my parents for that, I was never taught to hate as a child, hatred is taught to our children you know. Making judgements about someone because of the color of their skin, their nationality, their religion or their social status is not something we are born with, it is passed down through the generations by spoken words and actions. Children learn what they see and experience through the guidance of their parents.  Which means it is up to us to stop it, with each new baby we have a new opportunity to live in peace, all of us together as God's children.


  1. Wow! What a great post! I too get so upset about the injustice of prejudice! This was so enlightening. I would like to see that show. Thanks!

    Hugs, Sharon

  2. thanks for sharing your reactions to these two movies! i agree....hatred and racial bias are definitely not something that we're born with. just as we can learn kindness and love from our parents, we can also be taught the opposite. here's to a world of teaching our kids more of the love and kindness! :)

  3. What a lovely post! I am the child of an African American and a Caucasian and growing up I faced differences from both sides. Thank you for posting such a clear and honest look at what so many have had to face over the years. :)

  4. Great post Diva! I cannot stand racial bigotry or hatred as well. I just love all people. I wish everyone did.

  5. My mum is black african (Angolan)and my dad was white (Portuguese)... and I truly enjoy being mixed race!It been wonderful to been brought up with two very different cultures and races.
    Although, my poor mum has suffered abused in the past... just because of her skin colour...
    Some people are just too ignorant!!!



  6. Excellent post! I was brought up similar to you and I thank my parents too. I can only hope I followed through with my children. We all have the chance to teach by example. MB

  7. Nice post! Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving comments!! I'll be back ;)
    Have a great day! tina

  8. What a great post. We just got done watching "Milk" about social injustice of another type. I'll have to check out these shows you have mentioned. Thanks for the nice comments re: my art work.

  9. I love historical posts and this was a great one. I am delving into your old posts to get acquaited with you and find out more about you. :)