During the early 1950's this 20-year-old WAF (Women in the Air Force) sat in the front of a city bus. She didn’t move to the back of the bus, even though the glares and stares of white passengers tried to intimidate her to do so.
During this time my mother was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. One day she put on her Air Force uniform, similar to this one pictured. The bus came, she boarded it and sat in the front.
Whites got on the bus, saw her sitting in the front and gave her dirty looks. The five-foot-eleven WAF just sat there stoically. She refused to move. She wasn’t intimidated. She arrived at her destination. When she returned to Lackland, she got on another bus, sat in front and never moved when whites gave her dirty looks. She arrived back at Lackland with no incident.
Now this incident that happened to the woman who would later become my mother occurred more than four years before Rosa Parks refused to relinquish, on December 1, 1955, her Montgomery, Alabama bus seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled.
My Mother is 87 years old and my Father, Ron Owens, is 86 years old. He and my Mother recalled other incidents of racism and discrimination during their young adult life.
ITEM: During the early 1950's Los Angeles, California, employers told my Mother that the retail positions she applied for weren’t for Negroes.
ITEM: During the early 1950's a Jamestown, Virginia, business owner told my Mother that she couldn’t enter his establishment.
ITEM: During the early 1960's an Omaha, Nebraska, employer told my Mother that the clerical position she applied for was “for White’s only.”
ITEM: During the early 1960's an Oklahoma restaurateur told my parents that they, my two sisters and I couldn’t eat at his restaurant.
ITEM: During the early 1960's several Washington DC landlords told my parents that they would not rent their rental properties to a colored family.
The other screenshots are pictures of me and my family before the passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which legally protected blacks from discrimination.
I’m posting these pictures here and sharing these incidents with you all now because it is important for us to remember, lest we forget, that there was a time in the United States when white people prohibited black people from voting, using public accommodations, frequenting public facilities and attending public schools. Blacks were discriminated on the job. Blacks were prohibited from being the recipients of government services and programs.
My parents are not bitter of what happened to them years ago.
Now I gotta admit that they are angry that the Democratic Caucus of the House of Representatives want to broaden that 1964 law which protected African Americans, to include protecting those who want to be the opposite gender.
(Author’s Note: I am interested what happens in my/our beloved country and I like reporting about current events to inform all of you. But to see what I’m also passionate writing about visit <ronaldfowensjr.com> Thank you.)
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