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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy 19 Amendment Day

My Dear sister friend sent me a sweet cheerful warm lovely note about celebrating 19th Amendment day today.

This day is certainly important to white women in America.

But my own Mother, a black woman, was born and raised in the District of Columbia.

(in the South, and TRUST ME honey Washington DC was really the South back then... black women, and men, would be kept off voter rolls in very large numbers until the voting rights ACT of 1965....)

My strong, proud, fierce Mother and her 10, yes 10, sisters were not allowed to vote in our Nation's Capitol until 1965.

But today I will celebrate 19th Amendment Day and think with gratitude and joy about every time I have gone into a voting booth, especially last Nov...

But I remember that freedom isn't free nor was freedom nor is every
privilege granted equally for everyone on this day.

From the archive of this very blog, I am sharing this again.

I was chosen and one of 44 Master Quilters to make one of 44 quilts for President Obama for the Inauguration this year.

This is the story below,is of the day I went to the opening of the quilt show in Washington, DC.
It brought lots home to me that day.

Love and light,
Forever Aiming High,

Jan 11, 2009
Quilts for Obama:An Exhibit Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President.

It was fun, wonderful, historic and such an honor.

But I want to share a sobering moment with you that really brought home the significance of this occasion.
My Mother, who accompanied me to the opening today, is a native Washingtonian.

She said, when we pulled up in front of the Washington Historical Society Museum today,

"this building used to be the only public library that blacks were allowed to use, they had to use the back entrance and were not even allowed on every floor of that building."

As a child she had to take a street car and 2 buses to get to this building from her home.

She said from elementary school thru her high school years it was like that, and beyond...

Mother is 75ish...My mother grew up in Southeast DC, what is now Ward 7.

I knew many things were segregated for many years, but I never would have thought that a public library would have been closed to anyone seeking knowledge.I was floored by this fact.

So to accompany her daughter up the grand front entrance stairs and into an exhibit honoring the first Black President was of particular significance for her.

She was so moved.

As was I.

Today I got my reality check and it did not even come in the mail.

The words on the outside ring of my quilt say...
"...Full of the Hope that the present has brought us..."
The words are from the Black national Anthem.
I want to quote the full stanza.
"Sing a song full of the Faith that the dark past has taught us;

Sing a song full of the Hope that the present has brought us...

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

let us march on til victory is won."

NINE more days to go to the Inaugural.

It has been a long time coming..

Aim High,Cookie

But change is gonna come.

1 comment:

doretha said...

Thank you, Cookie for reminding us that nothing is free. Many have fought before us to give us the precious rights we claim today. We must keep up the good fight. We are far from being finished.