I am a Civil Rights Movement Veteran. I attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963. I was only in tenth grade, NAACP Youth Reading PA. The experience of that day and the days that followed made it clear to me that there was a very serious race relation problem in America that probably would never really be resolved.
Although there was hope in the air for some reason I felt a deep foreboding. I remember wandering why and what forces made it necessary for us to come to the nation's capitol to hear leaders speak about freedom.
During critical years of the civil rights movement I was in the USAF and spent 4 years and 6 months in South East Asia. Large numbers of us confronted and stood up against the racism within the military. The summer of 1965 to December '66 I was stationed in Texas, then to Florida and short tour in the Dominican Republic; from there to DaNang Viet Nam from 1967 to January 1968.
Through all my years in the military racism was confronted and we battled and fought racist soldiers on the base and off the base whenever they got out the pocket! There were white and black soldiers that formed special bonds. I remember Oliver Stone and he immortalized us. He came to DaNang he spent time in the French Bunker and told a very real story. Cannemore, Bobby Vincent. Frank Holder, White, Floyd Burleson, Charle Burge, if any of you are around get in touch.
January 1968 the Tet Offense started. The Viet Cong hit every military base in Viet Nam simultaneously. That night I was on a C130 filled with caskets bearing the bodies of young soldiers. As the plane taxied down the runway we heard explosions and I wondered would we get airborne. To avoid looking at the aluminum caskets I fixated my view out the window and I saw the Marine air freight depot bursting into flames from 122mm rocket hits. As the plane started lifting off and gained altitude I could see tent city, my former residence was in flames.
I was on the way to a new assignment in the Philippines, my silent passengers to a silent welcome in the USA. Strangely enough as I caught glimpse of Da Nang AFB in flames I could hear Dr. King's voice ringing in my head, free at last and a Hendrix lyric — somebody's house is burning. I thought, freedom is as freedom does and will not be denied.
1968 to 1971 spent in the Philippines and Thailand. Through these years I saw youngbloods, Black Panthers, Black P Nation, BlackStone Rangers, coming from the states, angry rebellious with raised fists and the reality of American racism fresh in their eyes. The murder of the Panthers, the murder of Dr. King, the jailing and killing of so many young, a Ball of Confusion; What's Goin' On Back in The World. The music told the story and it rang in minds and hearts.
April 4th 1968 I was at work in the communications center when word of Dr. King's assassination came through. I immediately called my homeboy, Cpl. Tyrone Powers who was still at Da Nang. He told me the brothers were rioting at Red Beach and things were real dangerous. Hell was unleashed. Black angry Youngbloods struck at everything and everyone that day. War within a war! Pain on pain! Reality bites reality! None of us were surprised at the assassination. Deep down inside as young Black soldiers, witnesses to our countries brutality on foreign soil we new hatred does what hatred is — racist do what racist are.
Back to The World and Honorably Discharged starting life:
Education: Doctor of Law, Cornell Law School, 1977; Attended Albright College '71-'72 completing Bachelor of Economics, State University of New York, 1974; Member Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society
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Civil Rights Movement Veterans bear witness and have seen a generation raised without a moral compass, without a North Star to guide them to know where we came from to be where they are now.
Naked, political leaders stand in borrowed robes of shameless pride giving nothing and taking all.
Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of those who have so little and need so much; to the aid of a generation that is loss and a nation turning on itself, devouring its youth. I open a special section in our PeaceZone Portal and make it available so that Civil Rights Veterans can network with each other share what was felt and pass it on so there hopefully will be no more loss generations no more loss legacy only realized dreams.
The history and the spirit of the Civil Rights Movemnet Veterans must be shared with this generation; must be remembered not as a loss legacy or vain attempt at reaching for a dream. There is more, much more to come! Jena 6 has been a lightening rod that has reawakened the spirit of days gone by.
Share your knowledge and experience. Pass it forward. Inform other Civil Rights Veterans they can sign up. Visit my website: www.peacezone.net, login, and select the Veterans of the Civil Rights Movent group. We provide Registered Members free web hosting, access and use of the below listed free web-based tools and more:
Civil Rights Movement Veterans that have course materials or how tos they want to post or educational materials they want to share I will provide your access to our elearningCube so you can put the knowledge online.
Peace & Power
I want all Civil Rights Movement Veterans who are interested in networking on issues discussing business and education projects to support the cause to get in touch register so we can network and share knowledge and pass it forward!