September 8, 2020
Brad Thompson, Sr.
I have lived through many changes in American society.
I was born after World War II when retuning heroic African American soldiers despite barriers and limitations at home fought so that freedom and liberty would be available to others.
I was alive as President Truman opened up the armed forces.
I was here when the Supreme Court decided that “separate and equal” was anything but that.
I saw the Emmitt Till photo in Jet magazine.
I was present in America as the Montgomery Bus Boycott occurred and the Sit-ins in Greensboro and around the country and the rise of Martin Luther King, Jr. as African Americans longed for justice.
I saw as SCLC and CORE and SNCC rose to be as strong as the NAACP in speaking for African Americans.
I watched as President Kennedy was assassinated.
I read that Medgar Evers was killed.
I cheered as the throng gathered for the historic “March on Washington”.
I witnessed as Stokely, the Black Panthers, Malcomb, H “Rap” Brown and others challenged non-violence as a way to gain improvement in this society.
I applauded as President Johnson signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation.
I marched. I boycotted. I integrated.
I grieved as Malcomb X was killed. Even more when MLK,Jr. was assassinated. Also Robert Kennedy.
I joined those who were rioting.
I read the Black books, recited the Black poets, and listened to Jazz.
I suffered through Viet Nam.
I was disappointed that Humphrey, Mondale, and Dukakis did not win.
I worked hard for Jesse Jackson in’84 and ’88.
I attended the Congressional Black Caucus Weekends in the hope I could pick up tips that would improve my advocacy.
I was happy to see the increase of the number of Black People in Congress.
I was impressed by the numbers as I attended the Million Man March.
I joined other progressives as the debate was elevated on how America could be improved.
I celebrated the election of Barack Obama as President.
I endured Trump.
But I have always been Black.
We have come a long way but we have a long way to go. VOTE!