When I see this photograph, it conjures up so many emotions. Anger, pride, admiration, fear, shock, awe.
Anger at the injustice, the suggestion that as a black woman, I am inferior - not good enough to arrive at the same places white women are, to walk in their entrances.
Pride - at the ability of my fore-mothers to carry themselves with dignity and kindness in the face of injustice.
Pride that they took the candle of God-like love passed down from their grandmothers, and great grandmothers in their hearts, and dressed and carried themselves like women worthy of honour despite the dishonour thrown at them by others.
Admiration - at their strength, unwavering courage.
Fear - fear that we as a generation have forgotten, cocooned by an amnesia of our recent history and altogether often lacking in the resilience and faith of those who came before us.
Shock - shock that someone could dare to trample on one of God's creature in the manner that they did, especially the beautiful and self-forgetting creatures that black women have been forced to be throughout history. Shock that this evil is a part of every human being and that we all have the capacity to become this.
Awe - awe at how much has changed, at how much we have survived, at how free I am to sit and type this,at home while one of these beautiful black women I admire, my mother, is at work, talking, eating, managing - sharing the same entrances as the people who this women in the picture was unable to even sit with. We have come a long way. There is still a long way to go.
Peace, Love, and Happy Black History Month. xx