I turned in my security badge and Chrysler Blue sweaters at the museum today and took the opportunity to check out the two newest exhibits: Herb Ritts and the Rock Portraits (very entertaining) and Women and the Civil Rights Movement. This latter phogragraphy exhibit is mostly newspaper photojournalism from the 50s and 60s.
Photos from Norfolk, North Carolina, Memphis. Places we live, places we’ve been, places we’re going. I feel sad and frustrated that more hasn’t changed. I know a lot has changed. But last week’s news of black and cop shootings was truly shocking.
One of the old black and white photographs talked about a photographer capturing a birth performed by the only black midwife for 400 square miles in South Carolina. White Americans at the time were shocked such poverty and lack of medical care existed for black women and babies within the US.
Not here, we think, not anymore. But six decades later civil rights are still an issue.
I finished Chesapeake, the 1100-some page tome about the region. Loved it. It was written in the 70s and discussed race and prejudice over hundreds of years, how even in the 19th Century it was illegal to teach blacks to read the Bible.
And it goes on to show how people come together, a few at first, then more, and new issues develop as old ones are resolved. And there’s hope, I think, when we look at the long past.
When I left the Civil Rights exhibit I found myself heading straight for the Renaissance gallery, looking up at a statue of Jesus Christ.
I feel discouraged when I see the inequity and hate apparent last week. I don’t know what to do, but we lift our eyes to Him. Save this world, Jesus. Show us how to love each other. At home, in the street, in our world.