We lived with hope, for a short time.

The Transformational Agenda Magazine 26th Edition

400 Years in Seven Movements
The FOURTH Movement
(cont.)

We lived with hope, for a short time.

“I am Fred,” he said. “I’m the freeborn child of slaves, born after the Great War; I’m a product of the Reconstruction. I grew up at a time when coloreds were proud to be free. We built schools, we built churches, we built businesses, and we built community centers. We voted en masse and elected the first colored politicians and community leaders. We were strong. We worked together. We believed in each other and in our dreams. We reveled in the joy of freedom. It was scary to some, for they had been told for so long that they were useless and couldn’t care for themselves. But most of us recognized what a gift it was to be free, to be citizens in this land at last, and to be able to pursue our full potential. We lived with hope, for a short time.

“Then, the Klan arose. They began to hang us from trees, to terrorize us in our homes, to beat back the small advances we’d made, to burn down our churches, to steal our dreams.” He looked hopelessly around as if remembering the hanging time, the burning time. I could almost see the cross alight on his property as he  held the image in his mind’s eye longer than I was comfortable.

Source:
An excerpt of Fred of the short story: “Listen to the Ancestors: They Deserve to be Heard”
©2008 by Howard Denson

The Transformational Agenda Magazine 26th Edition

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