In honor of Martin Luther King Day, EEUCC thought it would be a great idea to share a few words from our Silver Generations participants about how their experiences as African Americans have changed over the years. Many people had mixed emotions but overall people could agree that things have gotten better and have changed since their childhoods. Here are some of the improvements they have seen: schools are now integrated, people of color can vote, and there is more opportunity for African American children.
As our seniors reflected on their childhoods in comparison to children today. One senior said, "Kids today don't know how good they have it. They need to take advantage of what people fought for and died for." Another senior stated, "Back in the day, racism was in front of your face. Now, it's more subtle. I believe the hope is within our youth because it's starting to get more biracial. Kids are more interactive with different races than we were when I was a kid."
Another topic our seniors spoke about was education. Our seniors desire for kids in underserved communities to get a good education. They hope teachers will continue to invest in their students and not give up on them. Through the partnership of dedicated teachers and hard-working students, our African American youth can have a better future for themselves and their families.
One concern within the Silver Generations is raising children in today's society. One woman said she taught her son to be aware of his surroundings and discrimination. She understands that black males can be seen as a threat and she taught him how to conduct himself around authorities so that he is not a target. This is a genuine concern for many African American parents today. One day, we hope that this reality will become a distant memory.
The Silver Generations have overcome a lot in their lifetime. They are resilient, perseverant, and adaptable. We are so grateful to have them here at the East End. As we head into 2022, our seniors would like to acknowledge their gratitude for the progress made and that there is still more work to go!
East End United Community Center