gbmarshall's blog

The Civil Rights Act – 50 Years Later

Many died. Millions suffered. On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a Civil Rights Act outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. America expected great change. Fifty years later, there is a difference. But, some things may never change.

My Trip to Cannes and Leidi, A Teen Mother

Staying out of prison. That’s my response to those who wonder why I push myself, unmercifully. Keeping busy takes my mind off injustice. So, for now, that’s why I am in France. No sleep, torrential rain, trying to remember when to shift gears in my rented Renault. Terrified, this time I may have pushed too hard. Clutch. Gas. Brake. But, I refuse to end up a tragic tourist story crashed on the side of a French highway. “Focus on my goals,” I chide myself. “Not my problems.” My goal is to attend the 67th Cannes Film Festival.

For Dr. King: Learn to Dream

An assassin took the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.. It was April 4, 1968. He gave his life implementing a plan for a better future. He had a plan then. We should have a plan now. Here is a plan – educating our way to a brighter future.

Since that shot rang out in Memphis, TN taking the life of Dr. King, the community has wandered without any real goal. Although many have tried to rekindle Dr. King’s dream, there was no real action plan that could meet the complex needs of African-Americans.

Sexism and the Black Community

He understands the burden and pain of racial prejudice. He knows about racism. But, when the topic is sexism, there is only silence from my Black male friends. It seems they do not want to accept gender prejudice hurts Black women. The lives of African-American men and women are uniquely equal.

American history created a male-female relationship formed by equally dismal circumstances. We were kidnapped together, chained together, bore the slave-holder’s whip together, worked the fields together, escaped together, and fought for freedom together.

Women Suffer More in Prison

In America, and around the world, women suffer more in prison. Most female prisoners are housed with little consideration for their needs as women. Now there is a global guide for the treatment of female offenders called the Bangkok Rules.

Certain abuses happen to female offenders just because they are women. It was over a decade when I volunteered as an advocate for inmates in the HIV unit of Alabama’s Tutwiler Prison for Women. Despite earlier lawsuits brought against Alabama’s correctional system, abuses continue there.

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