From the desk of Merri Dee,
On this 4th of July, 2015, I sit at a machine called a computer, something that as a young person I did not have the privilege of seeing, having, or even being aware of. Yet, in 2015, I read again, of the Abolitionists, of the FREEDOM FIGHTERS, of ABRAHAM LINCOLN, of HARRIET TUBMAN, a woman who in her own unselfishness led many to the underground, places identified as hiding places for slaves and their children that would eventually be called the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. These hiding places would possibly lead to light, to places of freedom. Freedom to an eventual place of power in a country called AMERICA. I am today forever grateful to my Freedom Fighters, my extensive family with deep roots in the south, New Orleans, who had few privileges, but who, fought for every one of them.
I think of them today as I sit, grateful to know that I carry the torch of example, the example that Agnes, my Mother and her twin, Naomi, obedient girls, steeped in their rich southern history, daring enough to speak out about the good that GOD had given them the privilege of. To live in a country, where my granddaughter can go to a College in the south, and learn as a free woman about her past and commit to her future. This touches my heart so deeply and makes me recommit to all that I have become, to be a history maker, on display, to encourage her and those that she meets and associates with along the way, to become the best that they can be. To always remember those whose shoulders on which they come forth and stand upon.
Where my girlfriends son, a young, privileged white youth, from strong, directed parentage, deserving of the best, who has been taught to respect more than expect, can and will attend a southern University, that once would not allow a Black man named FREDRICH DOUGLASS to attend, even if he had the book learning to do so, even if he chose to, because he was a SLAVE. A slave —- one mans dominion over another—–. I am grateful to live in a country with a man who as a child, lived in luxury, only to run away with some family in tow, from a communist country, who now in later years, is possibly one of the proudest people I know, to be a Veteran, an American Soldier.
Today, July 4th, 2015, I am so grateful to be here, living, sitting at a computer that I once had the privilege of contributing to its building and distribution through the work done while at IBM, in those early young years, when I was finding my way, but was not allowed to stay with my colleagues on a Texas College campus, because of my race. I am grateful to be surrounded by so many gifts and talented people, family, friends and others. I am grateful that God has chosen me to be an example of respect, forgiveness, strength, daring, dignity and grace under fire. Proud of my plight, every step of the way. Proud that I can live without using words of destruction but words that encourage. That I can VOLUNTEER to assist/help those that I please, the way and when I please. That I live in an America that says, fight for what you want, fight to sit at the table of success, —that I have, –I do and I can! Proud that my strong, determined parenting has produced the same dynamics and so much more. You are as equal as you make yourself, as equal as you show yourself. In spite of all things, I am proud to be an American, with strength and privilege beyond dreams and wishes.
I am prayer, an American prayer, without end, that I wish for ALL.
Merri Dee, Journalist, Author, Philanthropist
LIFE LESSONS ON FAITH, FORGIVENESS & GRACE