Thursday, August 29, 2013

Black and White...

Hi all!!!

I know I said that I wouldn't do another post til Sunday, but I thought a post was in order for a special anniversary in American history.

As many of you know (especially if you live here in the States) yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the famous "March on Washington".

The "March on Washington" was held August 28, 1963 and was a demonstration in protest of the unfair treatment of minorities in the U.S. It was a march demanding better jobs and better treatment of blacks in the nation. It was a march that included a quarter of a million whites and blacks fighting for a common goal. Racial equality.

(This has always been a favorite photo. The beauty and grace with which this woman and her child stand under the sign is amazing. Dont know where the pic was taken but it is circa 1956)

This was the March that included Dr. Martin Luthur King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech and included many entertainers of the time including Mahalia Jackson, Ossie Davis, Josephine Baker, Marlon Brando and Peter, Paul and Mary among others.

At first I was thinking of doing a history centered post of the March but have instead decided to do a post featuring mostly photos. We always hear of the horrible way whites treated blacks in those days but I wanted to do something a little more positive.

As a black girl who grew up in the South I have seen actual KKK rallies and have experienced my share of (silent) discrimination. It was nothing like what my parents and grandparents have experienced but there where times that I felt that I was being treated differently than my white friends. BUT I have always had just as many white friends as blacks. I was lucky enough to attend schools where race was never a factor. I have felt true camaraderie and love for my white (and other race) friends.  This is why I wanted to show a side rarely seen when the civil rights movement is discussed. Its true that the majority of the country was against integration and equal rights but there were many people who knew which side of the issue was the right side.

So in honor of working together and unity here are some of my favorite photos that represent the spirit of the March.

Students protesting 

Mugshots of students who were arrested after protesting together, 1961

Paul Robeson and civil rights protesters, 1948

School integration, 1955

Black and white mothers enjoying each others company in a NYC housing community, 1956

Not sure what year this was taken,but shows protesters being harassed at a sit in

Integrated Washington D.C. classroom, 1957

Congress of Racial Equality march in honor of church bombing the killed 4 black girls in Birmingham, Alabama 1963

One of my favorite pictures. Two girls primping at a party meant to introduce blacks to whites. 1958

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
August 28, 1963

Hope you all have a great day!!! Spread love and positivity!!!


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  1. I grew up next to the projects in Pasadena. We were the only white family on my block, and in elementary I was the only white girl in my class. I had be made fun of my whole life being called "weda" (white girl in spanish), or my African-American friends would call me "little ghost" because I was so white. I just thought they were teasing me. The first time I heard my Grandfather say the N word, I didn't know what he meant. I asked my Mom, and she said "that's a word that we will never use because it's hurtful". She even reprimanded him and told him never to say that word in front of us again. Growing up color blind, I just saw everyone as humans. I like to think I'd be with them marching and getting arrested! Much love to all, no matter if your white, black or green!

    1. Oh Wow!! I love knowing that about you! It sounds like you had a very diverse growing up! I could totally see us vintage lovers marching side by side and standing up for a cause!!!

  2. People can be truly amazing when they come together. We are so often pitted against one another on such stupid basis like color, beauty, weight, social "class" that we often forget that we are human beings and deserve love and respect.

    I'm full Mexican and grew up in pretty diverse county in So Cal. Yet, I was still picked on because I was "too white to be pure Mexican." Or "Mexicans don't have greens eyes". I kind you not. I got told this throughout most of my life. Or I was accused of lying about being Mexican. Why would I need to lie about my heritage. Most people nowadays think I'm mixed (half white/half Mexican). I stopped correcting them. It's too much trouble and I shouldn't have to defend who I am as a person.
    I will be forever grateful to all those people who stood up,sat in, marched, and were arrested for what they believed.

    1. Isn't it funny how you can be discriminated against by people who are just like you? It's insane and pointless!

  3. Hand on my heart, I had chills as I read this post and looked at each superb, incredible image you included within. I love and so admire that you opted to focus on the positive, beautiful side of the fight for racial equality. If more people did so, and of course lived this mindset in their daily lives, perhaps we'd finally have a real chance of true equality for one and all actually coming to light in the 21st century.

    Inspiring, poignant, and deeply beautiful post, dear La Toya.

    1. Thank you, Jessica! I have so many people of different colors that I love and who love me that I always try to focus on everyone coming together for this cause.

  4. What a beautiful post!! So often we see photos of segregation as blacks and whites separated. I have hardly seen anything about integration during the time. Thank you for sharing!! x

  5. What a beautiful post! You have a real gift for finding beauty and grace in situations. I love the way you look at the world. My favorite photos were the one with the two girls primping in the mirror and the one with the line of little girls in their pretty little frocks. I might have to pin a few of these!

    1. Awww...Thanks, hun! Go ahead and pin away!!! They are really great photos. I really do try to find the silver lining of every situation. Life is too short for blame and finger pointing.

  6. La Toya! Thank you for these wonderful photos. I've scrolled through them at least a dozen times. I was listening to all the speeches on the radio yesterday as I drove around in the car running errands and I was thinking about how different times were in the sixties and you brought it to life for me.

  7. What a wonderful post! These photos are so striking and beautiful and totally brought a tear to my eye! Thanks for sharing such moving set of images, which show so much positivity in the face of adversity.

  8. So wonderful, LaToya! The photo of the girls primping makes me think of a story that my mom has about the ladies' restroom at the Civic Theater (that we know and love so well, LOL). She remembers that the very first time she went in there at an event that happened after integration (she was a teenager) she must have had a stunned and confused look on her face, because an older black woman looked at her and said, "Don't worry, honey, you're in the right place." She has always told us how she felt so embarrassed and ashamed of her reaction, but it was literally the first time in her life that she had ever been in the same public restroom with black women. I can't even think of that story without crying, and I just feel sorry for everyone involved who had to live in a world where the simple fact of blacks and whites sharing a public space was initially "weird" and foreign. I think about all of them every time I'm in that crazy green restroom. I always think photographs are the best way to understand the civil rights movement, and these are all wonderful.

    1. Kate!!! Thanks so much for reading this!!! You and your family are some of the people I adore!

      Ahh, yes!!! The good ole Civic Theater!!! That is a fantastic story!! Your mom is the sweetest and cutest woman ever and I can just imagine her surprise! It wasn't her was all she knew. It is incredibly sad but it's part of our history. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love those vintage pictures!!!!
    Why making differences... black, white or red? Who cares!

  10. Those are wonderful photos! Love them! So proud our country doesn't do this anymore. xox

  11. The photo of the two girls in the bathroom primping is so fascinating. Thanks for the photos. Great stuff!



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