Hey guys! Wanted to share this beautiful artistic interpretation by my friend, Hannah Goetz. She sent me what she wrote a couple of days ago and I asked her if I could share it with you all. Luckily, she said yes! Hannah is one of the most gifted people I know. Her writing, intellect, and drive are off the charts.
This piece explores the perspective of the woman in the far left of the picture. The scene depicts a Sunday at Union Station in the 1950s. These women are long-time friends and advocates who often find themselves together at rallies and public hearings seeking justice for black individuals. Today, they are at a rally advocating to integrate public transportation. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
The Perspective of a Daring Woman
Guest Post by Hannah Goetz
As I look out into the crowd, I cannot help but contemplate our reach. How many rallies will it take? When will people begin to hear us? My husband often tells me I waste my energy hunting for change: “the white men will forever rule” he cynically claims. As I age—and the exhaustion sinks in—I wonder if he may be right. Sometimes I wonder if my efforts will go unnoticed—if my days spent in Sunday best, calling for an end to racial discrimination and treading the fine line between poise and persistence will fade into the abyss as so many advocates’ narratives have.
I am weary in my old age: my feet cramp up after a mere hour in these heels, I lose interest in smiling for cameras and I have a hard time hiding the doubt in my eyes. Betty—the woman to my left—is much better at being chipper. I envy her sometimes and yet at other times fear that her resistance to swallowing reality will catch up to her. Lord help her on the day that it does. And yet, I still come; I persist.
I persist because I see no other option. I persist because I envision a future in which my grandchildren, their children, and the children after them will grow up in an era of opportunity and appreciation. I come in honor of my grandparents and great-grandparents—of those who had their voices stripped from them at a young age and bore the chains of slavery until their final days. I come to see the future of black lives—and black women—in this place we deem the ‘land of the free’.
I have grown to accept that this change may not be witnessed by my own eyes, but I continue to fight for what remains unseen. I am proud of my past; I recognize the present; and, I champion the future. As I stare deeply into the faces of these young men and women in the crowd today and overhear this proud black woman calling for integrating train cars, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed. Oh how far we have come—and how much farther we have yet to go.