Monday, January 21, 2008

Peace & Unity in Long Beach

Peace & Unity in Long Beach is my short article in tribute to Martin Luther King, Junior. I added some words about the 20th Annual MLK JR Day Peace & Unity celebration to a grouping of 3 quotes from MLK after watching Dr. King in old footage at new You Tube videos. I especially liked his quote about technology. He could never have imagined the world today, 40 years after he was slain, the ready availability of watching him on the internet as he was then seen on television or to a limited audience.

I truly should write an article about the entire festival. I especially liked an exhibit that dated back to the 1800s. It is the first time the private collection has been made available for public viewing. The auditorium is a large room and there were tables along all the walls filled with stuff, as well as posters and things hung above the tables on walls. In the center of the room were easel type boards of mostly black and white prints from books or magazines. Amazing collection of items by one person. I never saw an actual "Coloreds Only" sign and there were several actual metal face plates from old Jim Crow South. "No Dogs, Mexicans and N*****s Allowed" said one. It disheartens me when Latino's diss African/Americans. The reason is in that sign.

I actually shuddered at the site of seemingly starched Ku Klux Klan robe and hood with outstretched arms. In my mind I labeled the stains on one sleeve as blood. I have seen KKK members dressed in uniform in the 1990s USA. The one on display obviously came from a much early time due to the roughness, less tailored look of the material. I also startled a young lady when I again shuddered seeing a sign with the word pickaninnies on it. A forgotten memory. The only thing I did not like at the exhibit was the Do Not Touch signs. I would loved to have browsed through the old Little Golden Books that I remember from my youth.

The woman who shared her collection told me that we have turned the page on those times, but we must never forget. Not sure her exact words, but reminded me of the Puzzabilty quote I solved last week with a quote from Maya Angelou: History despite it's wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again

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