One of the highlights of my summer was to see the movie, THE BUTLER. A first class cast of characters headed up by Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and others depicted the sit ins of 1963 and the impact the Civil Rights Movement had on families and generations.
The Butler, Cecil Gaines in the movie, portrayed by Forest Whitaker, was loosely based on the true life character Eugene Allen who served as a butler to 8 presidents in the White House during the Civil Rights Era of the ‘60s. and how these events culminated with the election of the first black President, President Barack Obama.
Revisiting that era through which many of us lived helped me to see the true impact the Civil Rights leaders had on our society. But unfortunately, it is a wonderful story that we somehow failed to pass on to our children.
In this time when the Supreme Court has gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we need to re-connect to our story to remember and understand the great sacrifice made to give us the right to vote. Voting is the most sacred privilege we can have in a democratic society.
In Deuteronomy 6:20-25, Moses commands the Children of Israel to tell their story to their children. In this time, when our families are falling apart and so many of our youth seem to have no sense of purpose, it is so important to re-connect to our rich history as a people.
Ours is an inspiring story of a former slave people who took on the most powerful government that ever existed with nothing but their faith in God. And they won!
Let us not forget and take for granted the great sacrifices they made for us. But let us build on the foundation they laid to make our lives fuller and richer, and this country and world a better place to live. Let’s re-connect to our story!