Black, Female, and Awake in America — 2020
I grew up one block from the offices of the Montgomery Improvement Association, SCLC, and NAACP, on Dorsey Street. There I saw and met all of our great leaders. I, along with other members of my family, joined our neighbors for sit-ins, marches, and rallies led by Dr. King, Rev. Abernathy, James Bevel, James Orange, Stokeley Carmichael, Hosea Williams, and so many others.
The most memorable event was when I met the Selma to Montgomery Marchers on the grounds of my elementary school, at the City of St. Jude's. Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul, and Mary lifted me to the stage. The next day we went to the Capitol.
Though young, I knew that desegregation would happen and that it would change our lives. When schools were integrated, I was one of the first two black students to attend the Cloverdale Middle School, in Montgomery. That experience convinced me that I was an example of Dr. King's dream and my mother's vision. I finished middle school there.
I went on to Hollins College and was the first in my family of eight children to graduate college. Later I was directly commissioned in the US Army as an officer and retired after 21 years of active duty service as a lieutenant colonel.
I finished a Masters Degree at Boston University and a Ph.D. at Walden University, with post doctoral work at Georgetown University and Harvard University. I now own an executive coaching and business consulting practice. I also teach for Capella University, where I chair and review doctoral business research.
As time permits, I travel the world speaking and facilitating different types of workshops, to include those focused on nonviolence and peacemaking. For me Dr. King's dream is still alive, and in the ways that I live my life's purpose, I continue to share his vital message of hope.
Copyright © Rubye Howard Braye, 2015