‘Selma’ portrays King’s legacy

By Albany Shaw

So, the hubster and I went to see “Selma” a few weeks ago. I couldn’t fully articulate my thoughts on the movie for a while. Not because I thought it was bad, but because it was too personal.

At one point, I just sat in that movie theater and cried. And by cried, I don’t mean I let out a few sniffles here and there. I was caught up in one of those ugly cries where you can’t control your tears and you start snorting. Yeah, it was like that…

See, my Bigdaddy was born in 1906, my Bigmama in 1911. 
My daddy, the 10th born and baby boy of 12 children, was born in 1950. They were a family of sharecroppers who made their living picking cotton.

And in those moments as I watched “Selma,” I don’t know why, but all of the stories I’d heard my Bigmama, my dad, my aunts, my uncles and cousins tell became so real.

I thought about the stories my daddy would tell of my Bigdaddy being cheated at the scales. They knew that they were being cheated when they took in their cotton for weighing, yet they couldn’t do a thing about it.

I thought back to the story of how my great grandfather ended up in Kaufman, Texas after being run out of his hometown by the Klan for standing up to a white man.

I pictured the old school house that my dad, his siblings and cousins attended back in Kaufman. I thought of how proud my grandparents must’ve been when they were finally able to move to Dallas and start working in the kitchens at SMU.

So I just sat there, and I balled. Then this overwhelming sense of appreciation enveloped me as I thought about how strong they were, and how they all went through what they did for future generations. And then I wondered what our generation is doing with Dr. King’s legacy, and with their own legacies.

If you haven’t seen “Selma” yet, do yourself a favor and go see it – not because it’s comfortable, but because I believe it’s something we all need to see. We all need to be reminded of where we’ve come as a society and remain committed to where we need to go. Plus, it’s just a good movie.

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