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The March on Washington Through a Child's Eyes

August 28, 2013
This blog post originally appeared in the ACLU blog . I was at home when the March on Washington took place in 1963. My parents took my four older siblings with them, but at the last minute decided that, as the youngest, I should stay at home. I was furious about being left behind. My parents had talked about the march for days leading up to the big event. They determined that having a 7-year-old might be a safety risk given fears of possible violence (which, of course, never materialized). I cried because I saw myself, even at that tender age, as an activist who belonged there, side-by-side...
Laura W. Murphy's picture

What Does the March on Washington Mean Today?

August 27, 2013
Recently, my 12-year-old son and I entered the subway station at 96th Street and Broadway. On our way to the downtown platform, we saw a young teen boy being frisked and questioned by police. The young man was either light-skinned black or Latino, and he was dressed in the style fashionable for kids his age -- low-waisted skinny jeans, belted across his hips, a t-shirt, and a fitted baseball cap sitting atop his curly Afro. As we walked past, my son leaned into me and said in a half-whisper, "I wonder what that kid did." Sometimes, we mothers manufacture teachable moments. We take them to see...
Carolyn Edgar's picture

Building a New Racial Justice Movement

August 27, 2013
MomsRising Note: Thank you, Rinku Sen, for allowing us to cross-post from Colorlines . We encourage our readers to visit the website for ongoing coverage of racial and social justice, as well as leave comments to the writer below. Many thanks! Building a New Racial Justice Movement Protestors march at Austin, Tex., Justice for Trayvon rally on July 20, 2013. Photo: Ann Harkness/Wikimedia Commons This week, the nation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with events in Washington, D.C., and many other cities. A hot summer of race news—Moral...
Rinku Sen's picture

For Whites (Like Me): On White Kids

August 27, 2013
Note from the author: Fifty years after the March of Washington we have so much more to do to make sure the dream for which so many gave lives during the Civil Rights Movement is truly birthed. Those of us who are white, and who are persuaded of the meaning and truth of the dream, must (and can) step up to make sure that we and our children actively help it to be realized. -Jennifer Harvey, Living Formations This blog post originally appeared in Living Formations . Dear parents of white children, I vote that we strike the following from our parental lexicon: “Everybody is equal.” “We’re all...
Jennifer Harvey's picture

My Blinders Are Off: What Trayvon Taught Me About Parenting

August 27, 2013
Note from the writer: As a construct of our society, racism in the United States is a hard pill to swallow for those of us raising brown babies. How do we teach out kids to be aware (and stay alive), while encouraging hopes and dreams for a better world? In 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech, much as changed. But like many moms, I still struggle with the balance of preaching tolerance and love for all, while demanding a more just society. -Vanessa Bell, De Su Mama This blog post originally appeared in SpanglishBaby . I have this way of dealing with things that are really really...
Vanessa Bell's picture

Sterilization Abuse: Not Just in Our Past

August 14, 2013
As North Carolina becomes the first state to agree to provide financial compensation to people who suffered under government-run sterilization programs, the California Legislature is finally grappling with reports of modern-day sterilization abuse in its prison system. Confronting Eugenics in the Tar Heel State Governor Pat McCrory signed the budget crafted by the North Carolina Legislature, which inlcudes $10 million for people who were sterilized under an aggressive state campaign to extinguish the fertility of people whom social workers, doctors, and government officials deemed unfit to...
Rachel Roth's picture

On Trayvon Martin and Fear

August 7, 2013
Trayvon Martin and his dad, Tracy Martin Cross-posted from Carolyn Edgar: Notes of a Lawyer, Writer, and Single Mom The acquittal of George Zimmerman leaves me fearful. I fear for my friend’s 15-year-old son. He plays football for his suburban high school. He is already 6’ 2” and still growing. And despite his baby face, the Zimmerman trial reminds us that, despite his age, his combination of race and size render him a threat. I fear for my daughter’s friends – African, Jamaican, Vietnamese, and African-American. I love having these young men in my house, loose-limbed and full of teenage boy...
Carolyn Edgar's picture

Assault Weapons Ban (or Not): My Brief Foray into Local Politics

July 31, 2013
On Monday night there was a town hall meeting to discuss a local gun control measure. The backstory is that Illinois was required by the SCOTUS to create a concealed carry weapons policy. We were the last state to do so. I wasn’t following along closely about the way it played out in Springfield, but it was kind of a mess. Governor Quinn vetoed the policy and legislators overrode the veto. Ultimately municipalities had 10 days to create their own gun laws.10 days to develop an concealed carry/assault weapons policy.Also, each town that developed a policy was required to create its own...
Kim Moldofsky's picture

"Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago." - Pres. Barack Obama

July 24, 2013
In the wake of the collective sadness and disappointment across the country when George Zimmerman was allowed to walk away free after killing 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, our President spoke as a parent and shared this heartfelt statement: “When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son.” ~ President Barack Obama As parents, we know how vulnerable our children can be everyday. But while our children are among the most vulnerable, they also are among those who have the biggest potential to help move our nation toward a better future. In fact, history shows us that...
Kristin's picture

"My STRAIGHT Son Was Repeatedly Denied Promotions For 'Being Gay'"

July 18, 2013
I love my son. Like any mother, I would do anything for him -- anything to make sure that he can live up to his potential and fulfill all of his dreams. That's why I was completely stunned when my son -- my straight son -- was refused promotions at work for being gay. I grew up in a small town in southeastern Ohio where everyone looked like me. There was zero diversity in my early childhood. As I moved into junior high, I began hearing words like "sissy," and "dyke"...all describing people I considered friends. After my first year of college, my friend Michelle was the first person who came...
Lyn Herron's picture