June 11, 1963

Songs & Stories From Home Episode 46

Let justice roll down like water, righteousness like a mighty stream.
For our grandsons and granddaughters remember to remember the dream

Welcome to Songs and Stories from Home as we continue to Remember the Dream. This week JUNE 11, 1963

This Black Lives Matter moment in 2020 America is different in some significant ways from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s beginning with the contrast in the role of the Federal Government. These days the Senate chooses to remain silent and on the sidelines. A Supreme Court ruling dismantles important parts of the Voting Rights Act, disenfranchising large swaths of once eligible voters. Rather than stand with those fighting for Racial Justice, the President threatens to use the United States Military against them, a trained army against unarmed citizens. Instead of using the power of the Federal Government to create a more perfect union, the President calls Black Lives Matter a symbol of hate while using the power of his office to protect symbols of this country’s racial divide. 

It was not always so. On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy worked with the Governor of Alabama to safely enroll black students in that state’s largest university. It would be the first time in our nation’s history that universities in every state of the union were desegregated. Many will argue that the struggle continues to make sure those institutions become truly integrated.

Later that same evening President Kennedy spoke to the nation, putting his personal prestige and the power of the Presidency behind the idea that we are all created equal. It was a turning point for the Movement. 

After watching the President’s speech in the offices of the Mississippi NAACP, Medgar Evers returned to his Jackson home. As a safety precaution there was no entrance at the front of the house. That night Evers went to the back of the car to retrieve some t-shirts. Bryon de la Beckwith was hiding in the woods across the street with a high-powered rifle.  

Before going on these Pilgrimages, I was somewhat familiar with each of those events. All of them significant in the Civil Rights Struggle. What I could not have told you is that they all happened in the course of a single day. June 11, 1963.

Let justice roll down like water, righteousness like a mighty stream.
For our grandsons and granddaughters remember to remember the dream

Songs & Stories From Home | Mark Pearson Music

One of Those Times in a Life | Mark Pearson Music

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