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through such horrific

through such horrific experiences can be seen in the genes of their descendants. These studies seek to quantify the longitudinal impact on formerly enslaved persons and their bloodline. Early findings support the idea that some African Americans could be susceptible to what is called post-traumatic slave syndrome. Further study is needed in this field and is currently taking place. ROAR! “NOTHING IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN TRYING TO CORRECT HISTORY.” 125 MYLES MUNROE Another phenomenon that reflects the impact of negative experiences involves the behaviors associated with identity. There have been multiple names deemed to be politically correct (PC) for African Americans such as Negro, Colored, Black and Afro-American just to name a few. Each one represents a separate era in our history. In the late 70’s and early 80’s the PC term was Black 126, 127 and it continues to be used now. Why so many names? That question raises concerns inside and outside of the Black community and opens the floor for learning about what it means to be misunderstood and restricted in America. Even still, we have specific contributions to make to the world and should not allow what happened to us in the past interrupt our present or determine our future. ROAR! ZORA NEALE HURSTON SAID, “THERE ARE YEARS THAT ASK QUESTIONS AND YEARS THAT ANSWER.” 128 Over time we will make even greater progress if we deliberately choose to confidently and unapologetically stand together for what’s ours. We must be aware that what we do on the local level shapes our national history and vice versa. We should support the leaders who are answering our questions and solving problems. Better still, we should be leaders who answer questions and solve problems. There is often a single defining moment that permanently alters the trajectory of a major decision or course of action. It is that solitary instance when the light goes on and stays on. This becomes possible when our past and our present purposely converge. From there we can create a monumental future that is rich with history and full of relevance. One person’s story can give a voice to many others. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 80

Back in the 60s, the United States opened the doors to African Americans at schools, jobs, public facilities and other previously segregated facilities. Although the doors were finally open, in certain places, African Americans remained unwelcome. Ruby Bridges can personally attest to what it felt like to not be welcome in what used to be a segregated white school until she arrived. In 2011, The White House worked with the Norman Rockwell Museum 129 to have, “The Problem We All Live With”, on display and invited Ruby Bridges to meet President Obama and see it there. Image Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza 130 The White House Blog said the following about the painting: "The President likes pictures that tell a story and this painting fits that bill. Norman Rockwell was a longtime supporter of the goals of equality and tolerance. In his early career, editorial policies governed the placement of minorities in his illustrations (restricting them to service industry positions only). However, in 1963 Rockwell confronted the issue of prejudice head-on with this, one of his most powerful paintings. Inspired by the story of Ruby Bridges and school integration, the image featured a young African- American girl being escorted to school by four U.S. marshals amidst signs of protest and fearful ignorance. The painting ushered in a new era in Rockwell’s career and remains an important national symbol of the struggle for racial equality." 131 What happened with Ruby Bridges as a child in Louisiana made local, state and national history. Today she is a philanthropist and an activist. 132 Her past experiences and her present work continue to build a better future. One event can reshape the course of an entire nation. One person can make a difference. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 81

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