If I could turn back time…

If I could turn back time...

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I have always been fascinated by history, and often wished I could turn back time.  One of my favorite classes was Humanities, because it was not just about history, but it was about culture. The dictionary describes culture as the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, music and art, from one generation to the next.  So maybe I should say that my fascination is with how the events of history have shaped our culture.

My daughter recently asked me if I could go back in time and witness or take place in any event what would it be?  I admit I had to think hard on that one.  I often felt I was born in the wrong era, because there is so much that I would have liked to participate in that occurred before my time.  Hairstyles and fashion that I would have liked to wear. Music that I would have loved to dance to.  But, eventually I told her that it would have to be the March to Washington in 1963.  I wish I could have participated in the organization of it, made that journey and stood on those steps to hear Dr. King Deliver his “I have a Dream Speech”.

Why you ask?  I have never listened to part or parcel of Dr. King’s speech without having goosebumps and being physically affected by his words.  As scary as that time must have been for all those championing change. I assume that the feeling of promise had to be euphoric.  Just the idea that your beliefs, your sacrifice and your actions could affect the course of history or change the lives of your children and grandchildren had to be awe inspiring.  I wonder if they thought about it that way, or if they were just putting one foot in front of the other and hoping that they would make it home to their families unharmed.  I wonder if they really could see the vision that Dr. King had or if they just knew that there had to be a better way.

By the time the the 60’s rolled around African Americans had already suffered through and had been “released” from slavery, however, I believe that expectation was still a new thing to the masses.  As a parent, I can’t imagine not being able to tell my child and believe it that he or she could be anything that they aspired to be.  I can only imagine how difficult it was to raise a child during that age, when you had to worry about teaching them principles and values and worrying about them being killed for standing up for those same things.  I can’t imagine how hard it was to speak light into someone who was already feeling defeated by the climate and circumstances. All things being considered, I still envy those hope peddlers, who gave those young men and women a voice, a dream, a vision to strive towards.

So if I could turn back time, I would like to have been on those steps to hear Dr. King deliver his speech, to see the light go on in my children’s eyes and know that they understood their worth and that they grasped all that he was saying.  That they felt the dream he was speaking directly into their hearts.  And, even though the vision lives on in all of us, it still hasn’t fully been realized.  I don’t think anyone could have imagined that we would still be fighting some of these same battles in 2016.  But, here we are still trying to be hope peddlers but to a generation that sometimes doesn’t even fully grasp the struggle.

If you could go back in time where would you land, and why?

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