Yes, Eileen, America Has Changed for the Better
Lately, seeing people support politicians who are appealing to the worst in Americans, I get extremely discouraged about the future of my country.
But, today I was watching Notre Dame play football against Texas. The Texas coach is African American. I lived in Texas and went to Rice University in Houston. But for Thanksgiving of my Junior Year, I flew to Notre Dame for their football game and to become engaged to my high school sweetheart, who was a Senior there. Carolyn, a friend of mine who grew up like I did in Louisiana and Texas, flew up with me. Back then, Notre Dame was a guys’ only school and we couldn’t even sit with our dates, who had to sit as a group with their fellow students.
So these two little Southern gals were in the nose bleed section at the top of the stadium, freezing from snow on the benches and under our feet. We couldn’t even pick our dates out of the pack from that distance. After a few plays, Carolyn, squinting at the tiny players below asked in her southern drawl, “How can that California player catch passes with those long black gloves on?” There were some snickers from a few people close to us and I realized that it was the player that was black, not gloves.
We had never seen a black football player in the South.
I ended up moving to a small rural town in Tennessee the first year the schools were integrated. But for quite a while, that’s all that were integrated. Now, one of my doctors is African American and his wife and I attend the same bible study. She and her husband are planning on adding on to their home and are considering hiring my architect husband. And the owner of the local radio station where my son is News Director is also African American.
Everywhere I go in town there are mixed marriages and multi-racial families. Like everything else, neighborhoods are integrated. And this has happened in one life time.
And yes, there is still prejudice and racial tension in America, but thanks to Martin Luther King, we have come a very very long way.