We need to understand our history

Published 1:12 am Monday, January 19, 2009

By Staff
Two years ago, a future president made a trip to Selma, Alabama, to speak at the anniversary of one of the most important events in civil rights history.
Barack Obama told those gathered at Brown Chapel Church that the “Joshua generation” would now need to take responsibility for the changes to come. Just as Moses led his people toward the promised land, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led our nation toward equality. But the torch had to be passed to a new generation to make it the rest of the way.
Obama challenged that Joshua generation to understand its history, to understand that the civil rights and equality everyone enjoys had to be fought for.
That's a challenge all of us should undertake. The civil rights movement wasn't just about eliminating the separate lines for water fountains; it was about opening up opportunities for all of us, and opening up lines of communication between the races so that all of us can enjoy the same amenities and education and economic opportunities, and maybe even the pleasure of each other's company.
The Joshua generation took a big leap with Barack Obama's inauguration. But the promised land won't be reached until a few more economic and social barriers have been removed to make life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness a dream come true for all who seek them.

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