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The Black Experience, As I See It

By Timothy Carter.

The Black Experience is an experience of struggle and hardship as well as achievement and accomplishment. I feel there are many facets to the Black Experience in America. One notable achievement was the work on Civil Rights and Social Justice by Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King’s work has impacted my life tremendously and continues to impact African Americans in a positive way. He spearheaded several causes that has changed the lives of Blacks in America. His struggle for Civil Rights and activism brought about the Voters Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act as well as the end to Jim Crow laws of the south.

I am a 55 year old Black man and can vividly remember being served sandwiches out the back side door of Kresses’ Department Store on Liberty Street, Winston-Salem, NC. We could not order sandwiches from inside the store at the counter, because we were Black. I remember seeing the water fountains in front of government buildings marked “White” and “Colored”. The fountains marked “White” were cleaned and polished; the fountains marked “Colored” were dirty and unclean. I remember when my grandfather and other elderly black men where called “Boy” by younger White men. Dr. Martin’s leadership during the Civil Rights struggle was influential to ending some of those situations. His activism for Social Justice spanned all spectrums. He fought for Voter’s Rights, Fair Housing, Economic Equality, Equal Employment Opportunities as well as Social Justice for all men. Today there are more opportunities for African Americans because of the work of Dr. King. There is more freedom and equality than 50 years ago. There have been improvements in Economic Equality; Better access to Higher Education; Great improvements in Healthcare for the Economically Disadvantaged and Fairer Labor Laws towards Minorities and the Disabled. We certainly have made many strides towards freedom and equality.

The “African American’s Quest for Freedom and Universal Equality” is an ongoing struggle. African Americans as well as others owe it to our ancestors and past leadership, like Dr. King, to continue that struggle until Dr. King’s Dream becomes a reality to us all. Today we fight against Police Brutality; We are still fighting for Economic and Social Justice; The Fight to End the School to Prison Pipeline and The Black Lives Matter Movement are just some of the modern injustices that need to be addressed and eliminated.

“As long as oppression, racism and discrimination exist anywhere; There is a need to fight for Social Justice and Equality Everywhere”