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Honoring all the people of color in our group this month-Black History Month

From: Fena
Sent on: Sunday, February 3, 2013 1:27 PM

Hi Friends,

We have a number of Afro-American and other people of color in our group and I want to take a moment to recognize this month as Black History Month and reach out to our Black members and honor this month along with you.

I know all too well what being discrimination feels like.  Not only was I one of the first women in construction, I grew up in the South during the years of Martin Luther King and all the unrest during the fight for equality.  I was a small child in school, 3rd grade, when our school was integrated.  I witnessed the fear of the black children as they had to walk into an all white school and I also remember the fear that we kids had when they came.  We were all just little kids caught up in history and we had no idea what was to come of all of it.

Where I grew up in Mississippi, was next to Mt. Buelah College, an all black college located in Edwards, Mississippi.  I remember the struggle that was going on between the college kids and the people of power in the south.  Our parents kept us indoors after school because they saw lots of license plates from Illinois and New York in our town, white activist who had joined with the college student at Mt. Buelah.  As we all know, there were lynchings and people killed during that time-blacks and whites.  We were living in the middle of all that.  My parents lived in fear that some type of violence would break out and that we would be hurt.  I am sure the parents of the black children felt the same way. We all lived in fear at that time.

Everyone remembers the wagon train that they say started in Georgia but I remember that it actually started at Mt. Buelah because I stood at the window of our home and watched it go by.

I grew up in an environment of hate.  People hated people just because they were of color.  As a child I just could not comprehend that.  My parents were from the south, born and raised and I know they did not understand that either.

Now, 45 years later, I am a product of the North.  I can't leave my past or my roots behind, but I truly am a a product of the North.  Times have changed.  I do not harbor that hate that "my people" of the south bred into their children.  THIS group is a testament to that.   This group is a diverse group of great people and I would hope that we never look at color.

So this month, I honor those that fought for equality.  For color, for sex, for religion.  Freedom is what it is all about.  That none of us be judged for who or what we are.

Happy Black History Month and Happy Martin Luther King Day to all.


Fena D'Ottavio

[address removed]






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