Sunday, October 12, 2008

Living History

From Sunday Scribblings

The exercise this week is to decide what era in history you would choose to live in if you couldn't live now. Not just when, but why? While you're at it, how about where? What do you imagine life would be like?


I have seen this question posed before in different ways at different times, and my immediate reaction is always the same: As a black woman with American sensibilities, I can’t imagine living in this country during any previous period. And like many Americans, I don’t know the intimate histories of any other country well enough to think I’d like to live somewhere else as a black woman. As a woman and feminist, I cannot think of a period of history where I’d like to live as the every day woman. No matter what the period, I’d like to think I’d be an activist, a socially conscious person who sought the good for all people. This would also likely mean I’d be without power and status. I think this is the best time to be who I am.

Maybe, I’m not romanticizing the query enough. Maybe I’m too jaded by my current beliefs and world views. If pressed to choose another time, I’d like to have been born and become old enough to have actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties. If there is a time I fantasized about most during my childhood, it was my parents’ time, a time when this country was on the cusp of change. While the time was rife with struggle, there was also a faith and hope that was palpable. It was a time when good men and women of different races, economic status, religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds came together for a greater good. It was a time of urgency and conviction catapulted into action.

Today, I feel as if I have been given a chance to live anew that kind of conviction and hope. I believe in possibility of real change and hope. I believe the candidacy of Obama says this country is on the cusp of a paradigm shift. The collective hope of the people who support the man represents an intense desire to move this nation closer to its true greatness. There is no period in my lifetime that is more exciting, more promising than now. We are living history in the making. I am grateful to be a part of this time.

For more thoughts on history, visit, Sunday Scribblings

12 comments:

Marty E. said...

Nothing wrong with being happy where you are...But the height of the civil rights era would be something, too, or just as Jackie Robinson as breaking into MLB...

tumblewords said...

Nice post!

missalister said...

I know I’m happy enough to be in these times. Any color in the Crayola box and I wouldn’t have wanted to be an adult in the U.S. during the years of extreme racial unrest. I’m thankful to those who were willing, as you’d be willing, to dive into the Civil Rights Movement which made it possible for me to consider simply which candidate’s way of thinking I can embrace.

susan said...

Missalister,
It is amazing that we even have that choice. It is only been a little more than 40 years since the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 64.

keithsramblings said...

What a wonderful thing to be contented with the time you are living in right now. If only I could say the same.

anthonynorth said...

Any time in the past is coloured by how we see it now. As for me, I'd like the 1940s, but accept much is due to my love of films from that period.
I guess I'm happy in the now, too. Even though I'd fight for change on many fronts.

texasblu said...

I couldn't move into the romance of the eras either. I agree - I think with all it's issues today is the best day for equality - and we all work for it to be a better tomorrow. Well, most of us.

:)

Raven said...

Beautifully written. I too hope we are on the cusp of something new and wonderful if/when Obama wins. It almost feels to me like this is - to be a bit melodramatic about it - a battle between good and evil.

The sixties was a grand time. I hope we rediscover some of that passion.

Patois said...

As a child, I remember hanging with kids of all different races -- military brat that I was -- and wondering what all the fuss was about. We got along fine. What was the problem with adults? I still wonder that today.

Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

Nice post , and the whole world could do with a lot of change . .
Surprisingly its only difficult times that brings people together !

Giggles said...

I still see racism and inequality but at least it's sprinkled with hope! As a Canadian, I hope all your dreams come true. Change is imperative, and if the Canadian polls are correct, 80 percent of Canada hopes Democrats succeed! I do like this era..I loved the sixties and the forties...maybe I just like even decades!!

Hugs Giggles

susan said...

Hi Giggles, I have a good friend at work, Canadian. She's told me as much. lol