One Movements Success is a Victory for All Others
By: Parrish L. Stahl
With Black History Month behind us and Women’s History Month ongoing we are surrounded by reminders of the sacrifices made by individuals in both movements. All civil rights movements have some things in common like passion, conviction and a strong burning desire to change society for the better. It is interesting if we look back in history we see how different movement untimely are intertwined because of their common goals of human respect, a level playing field and opportunities to excel and build a better future.
All individual movements that are successful spent time educating people about their situations. Reaching out to open-minded potential allies, slowly but surely eased people’s fears and that is how we build momentum in any movement. It is true people fear what they do not understand.
Martin Luther King stepped through a door that Frederick Douglas cracked open. Some individuals are heroes in multiple areas. Helen Keller worked for woman’s equality and the rights of people with disabilities. Ed Roberts, who many consider the father of the Independent living movement, needed curb cuts and an iron lung to attend Berkley in the late 1960’s. That advocacy and his leadership led to hundreds of Centers for Independent Living all over the world.
Jackie Robinson was the first African America to play in the majors, but his struggles were the catalysts for all sports to be opened. Do not players from Japan, Latin America and the rest of the world still owe him a debt? In the news right now openly Gay players in multiple sports are being signed with celebration by the vast majority. The most talked about aspect is how can they help the teams? What a proud time to be a sports fan.
The Tuskegee airman proved that an African American could be among the best fliers in the world. Every pilot that was different from the norm that was hired in the decades that followed should be in there debt. History proves that fair societies eventually get around to doing the right thing. America and our community have more to do; how fast things evolve is up to you. Be proud if you believe in fairness because you’re on the right side of history.