Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why I Choose to Vote

This weekend I finally got to do it! I went to the High Museum of Art to see the exhibit: Road to Freedom (Pictures of the Civil Rights Movement 1956-1958). This was the best exhibit I have ever seen. It told the story of the movement by people who were there. It wasn't newspaper articles or a history book. I saw people who were there. It wasn't a reenactment.

I was told that I would get mad at what was done but I honestly didn't. I didn't get mad b/c I saw black people and white people in the museum together. It wasn't one of those times where I felt that only black people were concerned about black people. I was so excited to see white people looking at the exhibit--showing stuff to their children. No one was sweeping history under the rug.

I think my favorite part about the exhibit was the then and now pictures. They had the mugshots of the Freedom Riders and their current pictures. It told what they were doing now.

The only thing that bothered me was this older white lady who was looking at the picture and talking to her friend about the exhibit. She was talking about how she was sheltered from this. She never saw any of this stuff when it happened. There goes that sweeping stuff under the rug. I know it wasn't her fault but what bothered me is there are other people out there in the world just like her. There are people who don't know what black people went through to actually exercise their right to vote. She didn't know that people were being killed and shot at to the extent they were. She was literally living the good, sheltered life. In some cases it is true--ignorance is bliss. I am glad that she was able to look at the pictures and learn the history of what people who look just like me went through in the 50s and 60s.

Today was the last day of the exhibit and I am so glad that I got to experience it. Because of these pictures I will proudly walk up to the voting booth and make my decision on November 4, 2008. I usually vote in every election but now I have even more reason. I am standing on the shoulders of great people who I don't even know but I do want to let them know that their struggle was not in vain.

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