This morning I was one of a minority.
The city has neighborhood associations, which meet monthly. Giving a short report at each meeting will usually be representatives from the area police precinct, fire station, library, and the city councilor's office. Those attending can tell about problems in the neighborhood, such as a vacant house, possible drug dealing, a problem with garbage pickup, a clogged culvert, etc. Sometimes there will be some neighborhood event, either set up by the city councilor, a local church, another near-by neighborhood association, and so on. Sometimes a donation is requested for something.
Today being a national holiday, Birmingham had its 25th annual "Martin Luther King, Jr., Unity Breakfast". Each neighborhood association could buy a table for 8 for $200, plus individuals could also buy a place ($25 each). At our last neighborhood association meeting, we were all asked who could attend and would like to attend. My across-the-street neighbor Anthony and I were asked - so we did. The doors opened at 7 a.m.
The day started off crazy. Anthony is on disability, and does not have an alarm clock of any kind! He asked me yesterday to call him at 6 to wake him up. I called 16 times. After 4 rings, his phone went to voice mail. When I saw no lights on in his house, I walked over, rang his doorbell 3 or 4 times, and pounded on his door. He got up ... and we made it.
At our table were 3 ladies and 5 men, of which I was the only Caucasian. (I wonder - if they are African-Americans, then am I an English/Scots/Irish/Cherokee-American?)
A tangent: When I was small, my family lived on the invisible dividing line between blue-collar whites and what I would call middle class blacks in an area called Fountain Heights. There were other blue-collar whites in the house behind ours, and in the duplexes to one side of us. Next door was a vacant lot, then a house owned by a black gentleman who owned some sort of business. Across the street from us was a brand new brick house owned by Dr. & Mrs. Boykin. She was a school teacher (college-degreed) and he was a dentist (a lot of college). We lived there from the time I was 4 or 5 until I was 8 - late 40s until the summer of 1952. I remember waking up during the night to a lot of noise ... someone, probably the Ku Klux Klan, had set up a big burning cross in the yard of some family who lived a little farther in the block where we lived. There was also some bombings, including Dr. & Mrs. Boykin's house, though their house was not completely destroyed. In the early 60s, I worked in the phone company's operations' building, across the street from Kelly Ingram Park, where the notorious events with dogs and fire hoses happened. God made everyone, and none of this hate ever made sense to me. Look up the words to "Carefully Taught", a song from the musical "South Pacific".
Back at breakfast: The emcees were 2 people from a local TV station: a white lady and a black man. At the tables on the stage were a state senator, representative, judge, city councilor, rabbi, a couple of preachers, etc., each who spoke maybe 5 minutes. Mayor William Bell was keynote speaker, and talked for 30 minutes, and surprisingly held my attention.
Breakfast was edible: coffee, juice, water, scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, a biscuit, and butter and jelly.
A chorus sang from 7-7:30. They also sang the National Anthem after a high school color guard presented the flag. (Actually, everyone attending sang the National Anthem.) Near the end of the program, everyone also sang what is called the Negro National Anthem: "We Shall Overcome". (I wonder if there is a "Caucasian National Anthem", an "American-Indian National Anthem", etc.) Everyone at our table, and I think at all the other tables, stood and held hands to sing that.
The program started about 7:40 and was not over until 9:30 or so.
Except for being half-asleep because I'm no longer used to being up at 5:30 a.m. any more, actually the program was fairly interesting.
To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!
- I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!
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