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Thread: A Generation Without Activists

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    CrankyDiva's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    A Generation Without Activists

    My grandmother is the granddaughter of slaves. She was born in 1913 in the south; because my grandmother was something of a beauty back then, she had several lovers who were powerful men within their community. She was able to leverage her beauty as a means to support herself and her family and she was eventually ran out of town by some of these men's wives. My grandfather was born in 1921 when Natives were non-citizens of the United States; his sister was removed from the family and placed into a boarding school where she died. He was also a WWII veteran who had fought for a country which had denied him citizenship.

    My parents were born in the late 1940s and early 1950s. My dad attended segregated schools and sat at the back of the bus. My mother remembers drinking from a White water fountain and having a group of adults circle her and taunt her.

    All of these individuals decided to effectuate change and some of them were part of larger movements which did impact change in our society. Others failed and their souls withered and died.

    I listen to other people discuss their family and it amazes me how many people of my generation are unaware of the specific struggles that their parents and grandparents went through. I look at my generation and I wonder if we have so distanced ourselves from the pain of those earlier generations, that we now are apathetic to societal issues and feel disempowered to make large scale change. Or, maybe we believe that all of the good fights have already been fought, so we do not need to fight anymore. Perhaps, we are just a generation of lazy individuals who believe that others will fight for us.

    So, tell me your story.

    Do you come from a family of "activists"? Have you ever taken the role as activist? Do you believe we need more or less activists?
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    Jennifer Lynn's Avatar
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    Me: Union City, CA
    I didn't have anyone in my family who were activists. They were all trying to get citizenship
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    Ghedi's Avatar
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    My father had a file with the FBI for being a leader of a protest...

    Well, the story is a bit more complicated than it first seems... You see, he didn't organize the protest. He actually volunteered to provide basic first aid.

    The original organizers of the protest wanted the protest to become violent, but it remained a peaceful protest... so the organizers walked away, leaving the group without leadership.

    In order to mark themselves as the people giving first aid, the group my dad was in put red crosses on bandanas wrapped around their heads... so they were the most distinct people in the group. When the organizers left, people just gravitated to the first aid group, and they became the new group leaders on accident.

    Of course, my dad didn't find out about the FBI file until he enlisted in the Army... That's when he was shown his picture, with him wearing a bandana at the front of the protest.

    So yes, my father was an active activist, a protest leader with a real FBI file.
    /* no comment */
  4. surly curmudgeon
    TamChronin's Avatar
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    Goodyear, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghedi View Post
    So yes, my father was an active activist, a protest leader with a real FBI file.
    Bah. That's NOTHING.

    My grandpa was Winston Churchill's second cousin. If anybody's been a mover and shaker in the world...

    Also, our great-grandmother was a flapper in the 20s.

    It can go on. And on. And on. Our genealogy is very important to most of our family.

    Me? I find it a bit fascinating, but I want to make my own mark in the world.
    When you can't run anymore, you crawl, and when you can't do that, well… Yeah, you know the rest.
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    Nov 2007
    On one side of my family we came to America pretty much on the Mayflower. I am a registered daughter of the revolution, and I doubt there was much hardship in that side of my family. My moms side, on the other hand, was half cherokee indian and half welsh. My greatgrandmother was full blooded Cherokee and she married a Welshman just off the boat. Its pretty fascinating actually and I wish I knew more about it. I'm SURE they had hardships, and I wish my mom or either of her parents were around so I could find out more.
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    Sophie♥Hatter's Avatar
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    I am a direct descendent of Nancy Ward she is a great,great,great...grandmother. I don't really know much more about my family history on either side. My mom is the exact opposite of an activist though LOL. I am one and I hope to infuse the same passion in my children (for causes they believe in).

    ETA: my Grandmother was not an activist persay BUT she was certainly a fire cracker (burning bras female lib kind of lady hated it if my mother or us three girls served our men among other things LOL!) I have B&W photos of her in her youth and you can just SEE the life in her eyes and know she was a wild woman!

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