We Keep Us Safe: Parker

The year was 1963 and I was six years old. The news on TV was about the Civil Rights marches and protests in Alabama. My da and I were watching the news, and the images were of Blacks (called Negroes then) being confronted by police with dogs and water hoses. I watched in horror -- the police were supposed to be the good guys -- and turned to my da and asked the 6 million dollar question: why was this happening when all the Negroes wanted was to be able to exercise their Constitutional Rights to vote. He explained that some White people felt that things were just fine the way they were. I stood up to my full height, put my hands on my hips, and stated, 'That's just wrong and I'm gonna do something about it.' So I did. I wrote letters to the Editor, I wrote my Congressmen. When I was older, I worked for Bobby Kennedy's campaign. In high school, I was a member of a team set up to preempt problems between Black and White students.  

For the past 22 years, my work has revolved around educating the public about the contributions of enslaved Africans as a Museum Educator and Living Historian. I continue to fight for Civil Rights.

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