Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The 1960's - Marches, Civil Rights and Changes

In the car on the way up to sit with Mom, I switched on the radio today and tuned in to live coverage of the fifty year anniversary March on Washington. I remember the 1963 March of Washington, but I was young and didn't pay all that much attention to the Civil Rights movement. Civil Rights were words in the news, but out on the farm, I was an innocent who had very little understanding of why people were marching on Washington. Most of the adults around me were simply worried violence was going to break out or that it was somehow going to change their world. But things needed to change and I think the Lord sent the right man to lead the marches and get those changes started in a peaceful way. Dr. King's "I have a Dream" speech has a permanent place in the history of our country.

Our schools were integrated in 1963. It seems strange now to think about how long it took for the school system to allow all the kids in our county to go to school near where they lived. I don't remember worrying about it. I also had no idea of the struggles many of the blacks had faced as they marched to have the same rights as other citizens of the country. 

Years later, I wrote my Hollyhill books set in the 1960's, and while researching the era, I learned what an innocent I had been. So in my second Hollyhill book, Orchard of Hope, I let Jocie be that innocent young girl who thinks everybody has the freedom to do whatever they want and who is confronted with the truth of prejudice. I wrote about a family moving into an area of the Holly County where black people didn't normally live. Myra, the mother in the family had ridden the Freedom Trains and been arrested. She'd taken her children to marches and because of that, one of the children, Cassidy, developed deep fears. Cassidy is one of the viewpoint characters in the story and I think her fearful innocence contrasted against Jocie's unaware innocence deepen the story line. Orchard of Hope is due to be re-released with this new cover in October. It seems to be right on time with the anniversary of the Washington March this year. 

Some of you are old enough to remember that time too. What do you remember about that March on Washington?


  1. Good morning Ann, thanks for the newsletter that started my day ,always enjoy reading your writings. I can imagine you walking around your Ky farm and reminds me a little of my hometown which was and is small,Walton.
    I bought a lottery ticket yesterday hoping for just a little of the millions they are giving away but NO not this time, no winner. Your thoughts of just being alive made me think yep,me too...God has been good to me. I have family,small home paid for,food to eat and friends...we always want what we don't have it seems and you know what I think God knows that about us and probably smiles often at our silliness.
    Paula O

    1. Thanks, Paula. Glad you enjoyed the news from down here on the farm. I know about Walton. Fun to come from a small town. Trouble with those lotteries is that there are always lots more who don't win than those who do. :) But good luck on collecting those millions someday. And I'm absolutely sure the good Lord wonders what in the world is wrong with us sometimes. LOL.

  2. Hi, Ann!

    I have to say that I don't remember a lot about the March on Washington (probably because there was a lot of upheaval in my own life, at that time), however the Montgomery bus boycott, Rosa Parks, & other events in Mississippi definitely DO stick in my mind.

    It seems there have always been, presently are, & probably always will be, groups that feel they have been discriminated against. If only everyone could learn to just treat other people as they would want to be treated, & let God handle the rest - how much better off the world would be! We are not the judges - He is!

    1. My research into that era really opened my eyes to things I didn't notice at the time, bonton. I think you are right that there will always be prejudice in some form in our world. We are flawed humans, but we do have to do the best we can to treat others fairly and not harbor hate and wrong feelings. Judge not is good advice.


Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.