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The Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Chaton Turner's picture
This blog post originally appeared in Chaton's World. A few words from the publisher: I submit this post about my gratitude to my ancestors because I stand on their shoulders. In truth, everything that I have and everything that I am is because of those who came before me. I cannot think of Black History month without remembering my personal history and being proud. -Chaton Turner, February 2016
I saw a photo of Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King today leading a march. For the first time, I realized that when they were leading the struggle for Civil Rights they were a young couple and had very small children at home. For the first time, I thought of them as parents of those small children and I realized that they often had to leave them behind.  

While they were leading a movement that was larger than themselves they still had the demands that face all parents. They had bills to pay. They had children to feed. They had tears to wipe away. And still, they chose to march. They chose to leave their children behind because they believed that it was important to force this country to live up to its creed so that the rest of us could lead better lives.


Photo credit: Wikipedia


This Working Mom is grateful for her ancestors

The Kings accomplished so much. Because of their efforts, and others like them, legislation was passed, the Jim Crow era ended, and America became closer to realizing its potential. Although there is still work to do on the Civil Rights front, I live a very good life. On a very personal level, their sacrifices afford me the privilege to be able to define myself as a professional, working mom and to be able to spend nearly all of my free time with my children. When they marched many African-American women were restricted to underpaid domestic work as portrayed in The Help. Indeed, at that time, my grandmother was the help. 

The quality of life that I lead is a gift and a blessing.


Make no mistake, I still believe very strongly that there is more work to do, especially as it relates to making this country a better, safer place for African-American males. (Click here for my thoughts on that.)

Still, as this Black History Month draws to a close, I am reflective and grateful to all of the African-American parents who came before me, fought for me, and sacrificed time with their children so I would have the ability to simply raise mine. I am also encouraged and empowered to do what I can to ensure that this nation continues to improve and rises up and lives out the true meaning of it's creed.



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