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My human, Mia, has been working so hard. She is so inspired by my plan. My plan is to go all over the United States meeting new and wonderful people, to share their stories, and to find the connection between all people. Mia is so wonderful, and I want to meet more wonderful humans like her.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wade In, Weighs In

Mia wrote about this because I couldn't go on the beach, no dogs allowed.

At the Biloxi Beach in Mississippi I saw this historical marker:

Civil Rights Wade-in: On May 14, 1959, April 24, 1960 and June 23, 1963, the Biloxi beach front was the site of planned civil rights wade-ins demanding equal access to the public beach. On April 24, 1960, several citizens, both black and white, were injured and arrested. Including the leader of the wade-ins, physician Dr. Gilbert R. Mason Sr. This series of protests gave birth to the Biloxi branch of the NAACP, major voter registration drives in 1960, and a 1968 federal court ruling opening the beach to all cititzens.
Even the birds are wading 


What a peaceful way to protest! And based on the sign you'd never guess what followed the wade-ins.

The first showed the protesters how the local police would respond, in support or repression. The nine participants were forcibly removed. The second protest had only one participant, Mr. Mason Sr. During the third wade-in the protesters were instructed to get rid of anything that could be construed as a weapon since these were peaceful protests. The protesters took food, footballs, umbrellas and started swimming.  The protest organizers knew whites would come out to stop the protest, however they hadn't anticipated them to have as many weapons as they had.
"No one expected the violence that erupted.
 We weren't prepared for it.
 We were overwhelmed by their numbers.
 They came like flies over the area." 
Pastor Black, one of the protesters

When night fell the white mobs when through the black neighborhoods, rioting, threatening and firing guns.  Many of the protesters were beaten, and the details can be found online, I will not repeat them here, it is far too gruesome for me to write.

"If we are to receive a beating," 
wrote Evers,
"lets receive it because we have done something, 
not because we have done nothing."

"Those events need to be remembered, 
so that another generation - black and white- can understand
 how much progress we've made." Mr. Winter

"A price was paid for the privileges and rights we enjoy, 
and those that paid the price should be remembered." Mr. Black

Interesting how I read the sign and thought how peaceful to protest with a wade in and nice the historians honor a peaceful event and then when I research it to talk about it, I discover it's called BLOODY SUNDAY.   How humbling to be there. 
To have my feet in the same waters, and on this same sand.  
Thank you to those that sacrificed so much for the equality of ALL MEN & WOMEN.

Mia with her feet in historic waters

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