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Michelle's Musings

Honest Dialogue

In celebration of Black History Month and amid the ongoing assault against teaching African-American History, one of my writing societies posted a list of works from African-American authors, approximately half of which I've already read. In examining this list, I reflected upon discoveries I've made in my own ancestry, beginning with the advent of the Slave Triangle to Emancipation; from Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement. Those discoveries have provided what amounts to an in-depth course on African-American History that I wish had been available when I was much younger.


Many of my ancestors' stories, some of which are profoundly astounding and heartbreaking, are grounded in the founding of our Nation. In today's divisive political climate, it's difficult to comprehend the growing backlash to whatever progress has been made to right an enormous wrong that was the institution of slavery. We've come so far since those early days of widespread oppression, and yet we see attempts to repeat the worst of our misdeeds.


To flourish as a democracy, our society maintains and enforces certain ethical and moral standards. We're a nation of laws, and our democracy hinges on the enforcement of those laws. Yet it seems that some who previously called upon this edict to justify the unequal dispensation of justice to certain demographics now want to abandon it to advance their distorted agendas. Civil Rights, Racial Equality, Social Justice, DEI, to name a few terms, have been refashioned into "dirty" trigger words because they serve as uncomfortable reminders that disparities endure.


No matter your personal views, we are all members of the same Human Race. For those who are uncomfortable with discussions about the marginalization of Blacks and other communities whose indelible achievements have been intentionally suppressed for decades, I say take a few moments to put yourself into the shoes of those disenfranchised folks and imagine the discomfort they've endured. Adversity builds character, but no group should be subjected to selective application of our Nation's laws. It is my hope that with ongoing dialogue, we'll eventually get to a place where we peacefully coexist in spite of our differences.

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