Sport – has led the way in this gerrymander social political/ construct of democratic government – witness the abdominal reality of Slavery – Reconstruction – the Civil War – the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. These momentous events and occasions brought forth brave and meritorious behavior by the trailblazers for equal treatment and justice – W. E. B. Dubois – Sojourner Truth – Frederick Douglass – Carter B. Woodson – and untold others as the changes in the social. political, and economic matrix melded into a full fledged movement that seared the conscious of a nation – where lives – Black and White – died for the dignity and fairness for others.
Sport – highlighted by the triumph of the magnificent athlete – Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin Germany – helping truncate the political ascendancy of Germans as the master race – composed of blue eyed blond haired progenitors of intellectual symbol of the perfect man.
Jack Johnson – First Black heavyweight champion of the world – and the defender against the political search for the great White Hope.
Joe Louis – the Brown Bomber – galvanized the hopes, dreams, and possibilities of a down trodden population of Blacks in the burning ambers of segregation and domestic terrorism – opening the doors to opportunity and possibility for others once options are made available.
Jackie Robinson – thrusting a fist through walls of segregation and low expectations and opening the floodgates of athletic greatness and acceptance that have come to dominate the world of athletics that continued to prevailed at this time.
Thus – with the historic bus ride of Rosy Parks and the
emergence of Martin Luther King, and ensuing marches –
sit-ins – lunch counters – lynchings- firehoses – ferocious
dogs – racial invectives – and assassinations – all of these
barriers and impediments to liberty – dignity – justice –
and personhood were exposed – debated – confronted and
used as incentives to sound the trumpets that would
never call retreat – the march to hold the Constitution – Bill
of Rights – the Declaration of Independence to the words and meaning of this noble document.
Forged and swept into the bows of societal maledictions – intimidation – ostracism – blatant racism – the doctrine of Separate but Equal – the antecedents of manifest destiny – and the heirs and inculcation of White supremacy, all, setting the stage for the historical march on Washington on August 28th 1963. The march assembled a crowd of two hundred and fifty thousand people – demonstrating for jobs, equal education, public accommodations, voting rights, and dignity of personhood.
The celebration of 2013 in Washington D.C. is an acknowledgement of how far rights have been achieved and how far there is to acquire equal treatment in issues of Stop and Frisk – Racial Profiling – Voting rights – Paucity of Employment Opportunities. The realty and undercurrent of race continues to be an albatross surrounding the achievement of a more perfect union. With dramatic demography alterations in the population in the coming decades, the perfect union will be challenged to adjust to the social, political, and economic transformation of the radical changes inherent in a minority,majority society.