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.
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