“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
I think it is no secret by now that I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, directly across from Detroit, Michigan.
I learned in Social Studies about the Underground Railroad that went through our very area of Ontario. There is a church in Chatham, Ontario that helped the Black Americans escape the United States.
The one method that I can recall of how Black Americans were smuggled into Canada was false bottoms coffins. That thought has always stuck with me some forty years later.
I went to school with Black people and it never occurred to me that they were any different than myself. I can remember my grade eight graduation. I went to school with twins whose father was a local Pastor in Amherstburg, Ontario. I use to love attending his services for the music. My mom attended the graduation dinner and found out that her best friend in high school was the mother of the twins, the wife of the Pastor.
When I started traveling throughout the United States is when I had an eye opening experience about the racial differences. We we hold meetings in many different churches and many times it was obvious that many congregations were divided by race. It really set me back on my heels and maybe to this day has influenced my view about the race war in America.
I am not a black man, but, one of the people I would have loved to heard in person was the afore mention, Martin Luther King Jr. I still can recall the feelings and emotions that welled in me when I first heard his speech, “I Have A Dream”. To this day it draws out the same emotions. I think we could use more of him.
Now, let me address the race war in Canada. It basically is divided between white and Indigenous People. It is well known fact that many of the Indigenous People live in below poverty and many reserves still have boil water alerts, due to unclean water sources. So, dear reader Canada has it’s share of a racial divide.
Many Black Americans settled down around the Chatham, Ontario region. There is also a strong presence in Eastern Canada.
I salute Black People around the world, but, I have high honor for those within the fifty states of America. I admire their tenacity, their will power to keep believing in their dream of equality, and their desire to be considered a full fledge citizen, even though the constitution has never been amended about their citizenship.
So, this writer, this person, raises a glass to all Black Citizens here in Canada and the United States. Maybe, with Kamala Harris being elected vice president will turn the tide around for the Black Americans.