I was part of an independent Texas group called the Demopolis Project. After that summer, I became an activist in SDS, which has led to a lifetime of activism. That activism led me to become a teacher. I believe that the front lines of the civil rights movement are in the schools all across America.
I am a high school art teacher in an inner city school in Seattle. I first discovered that I loved art when I was in jail in Alabama for five days. I carved a head out of my bar of soap with my fingernails and a straight pin. When I wasn't doing that in jail, I was flushing the toilet all day to cost the county money. When I went back to the University of Texas after that experience, I took my first art course and here I am teaching art now. I use art as a way to help young people discover what they can achieve and to feel good about who they are. My discovering art was a gift to me and I am giving that gift on to my students. Every student of color that goes on to art school is another flush of the toilet against the Chief of Police of Demopolis. I am forever grateful for the many things that I learned during that summer in Alabama.
By the way, my email address, magbecky, stands for "middle-aged gangster"!
The struggle continues.....
Added on October 11, 2001
Does Anybody Out There Feel This Way?
Those mother-fucking god-damned greedy bastards, Just when people from my generation were ready to lie down in green pastures; Concentrate on friends, good restaurants, meditation and serenity. Those god-damned bastards whose greed has punished the world at large for a century and a half.
It now comes full circle, doesn't it?
To hit them in the face and drag us along with them.
How dare they mess up my life! The lives of my son who works behind barbed wire now, My daughter who doesn't even know if she will have a future at all, children and a chance to watch them grow up in peace. Those god-damned bastards, their greed drooling from their mouths as millions of people cry out in unbelievable sorrow for those who died. Will the tears ever stop?
Those god-damned greedy bastards. Pulling the veil of illusion off of our so-called safe and peaceful existence, a life of malls and music, restaurants and vacations.
My generation. Veterans of civil rights, Vietnam, women, labor, Aids, diversity. Wars in Grenada, Panama, Iraq and who knows where else. Veterans of rage from watching as people suffer in the ghettoes of America. Veterans of watching youth destroy themselves and each other as mothers grieve for Thanksgiving dinners when all their children were Still alive. Not strung out. Still had hope for the future.
Those mother-fucking god-damned greedy bastards. Those god-damned greedy bastards. Forcing my generation, with our children at our sides, to now once again become warriors. To once again feel like an alien in my own land.
To know that I would be despised for my views Of global peace.
Love for every person.
To once again face the profound truth of the words, No justice. No peace.
Those mother-fucking god-damned greedy bastards. Have they learned nothing? Are we once again back at the mentality the settlers had against the native Americans - despising a people for their brutal attacks.
Ignoring their just cause. Blind. And deaf. And hard-hearted.
Those mother-fucking god-damned greedy bastards.
Make me once again face and feel the hatred and intolerance Of differing views.
Make me once again grieve with bottomless sorrow for the pain inflicted In the name of democracy. Should be in the name of hypocrisy.
Devil-tongued, fork-tongued, lying-ass mother-fuckers. In the name of all humanity.
For every person that walks the earth. In sandals or Nikes. Help me stop these mother-fuckers.
Make every day count.
Make others understand.
See through the bullshit.
Hear through the white static of self-preservation and selfishness. In the name of all humanity. Give me the physical endurance to make the leaflets, carry the banners. Endure long meetings where people parade their egos. Most of all give me peace inside of myself. Don't let these greedy bastards suck out my soul. Fill it with hatred.
Let this spoken word empty the anger within me.
Peace within my heart.
Magbecky (Middle-aged Gangster Becky)