Change is going to come!
By Don Valentine
On Oct. 8, 1963, Sam Cooke called ahead to a motel in North Carolina to make reservations for him and his wife. When he arrived the clerk realized that they were Black and dubiously said that there were no rooms available. The accumulation of these types of insults inflamed Cooke to write the song A Change Is Gonna Come. This will not be a popular piece because I’m going to highlight that change has transpired in the 51 years since those lyrics were written. Typically, the opinion that gets the most press is something about how bad things are for Black folks. It should be duly noted that things have been a whole lot worse.
It has been well documented about the inconveniences and atrocities people that looked like Cooke had to deal with over the last 300 years let’s focus on the change. Clearly, in that era no one on the entire planet, in the late ‘50’s would have ever conceived of a Black man becoming President. That includes Russia, Israel, France and Great Britain. “A change is going to come”.
Since the birth of that Negro anthem the U.S. has had two Black Supreme Court justices grace the court to contribute to the interpenetration of the laws of this great country. Dr. King did not see that coming to pass before the century expired. “A change is going to come”.
Moreover, because of the change in administrations we have had the first two Black Attorney Generals ever placed into the cabinet. “A change is going to come”.
Personally, I have had my father relate to me about how while serving his country in the U.S. Army he was told “Boy you can’t use that bathroom N***a” This was in 1963 while training at Ft. Hood, Tex., to fight for his country. A historical note, this base is named after the Confederate General John Hood. The fine Black patriots of the country at that time could not use the same bathrooms as their white patriots. The “powers that be” still saw fit to honor a rebel to the union by naming an Army base after Hood. “A Change Is Going To Come”.
In June of 2015, nine Black church members were “cowardly” murdered during Wednesday Bible study in their church. The perpetrator was a Confederate flag displaying psychopath. The country is having a continuing debate about the justification of flying the colors of the Confederacy over 150 years later. Racial strife still exists in our midst. “A Change Is Going To Come”.
We are making great strides as a country dealing with this egregious past. The country would be wise to recognize that thinking that we have accomplished the task of racial equality is a fallacy. It is an enormous problem and best addressed via discourse by all sides. That means whites, Blacks, Latino’s and Asian’s. Truth be told all sections of our country have biases. Be it religious as we are debating a xenophobic issue on immigration or racially between Blacks and whites. We have to continue to mature as a homogeneous community. The founding fathers were not perfect by any definition. They did however, put a document in place that was malleable so the country could evolve into a more perfect union. “A CHANGE IS GOING TO COME