• Vernalee

BECAUSE OF YOU


By Vernalee

Because of you - are three powerful words that speak to greatness. We use them to refer to selected people. These "Because of you" people have provided us with many opportunities and comforts that we enjoy today. The "Because of You" phrase had its origin from President Barack Obama. Joining him in his Inauguration as the only living organizer/participant from the historic March on Washington in 1963, Congressman Lewis passed his program to President Obama to autograph. President Obama graciously wrote, "Because of you!"

Yes, it was because of John Lewis, Martin Luther King, and the civil rights greats who marched, sacrificed their lives, were jailed, beaten and abused ... that allowed President Barack Obama to stand proud as the first Black President of the United States of America. President Obama's wisdom and knowledge of history helped him to recognize that his privileges and his accomplishments were because of those individuals!

He knew that he had not traveled his journey alone.

I know a selected few "Because of you" people who have directly influenced my life. Fannie Lou Hamer from Ruleville, Mississippi who stood up and said, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired" was a "Because of you" person. Civil rights activist Jake Ayers from my hometown of Glen Allan, Mississippi who had crosses burned in his yard while we as children watched his gas tank explode and his house burned down by the KKK was a "Because of You" Person. Basketball great Wayne Embry who became the first Black General Manager for the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers is a "Because of You" person. At 83, Mr. Embry is still making head waves to make life better for not only professional athletes but Black people in general. Yes, it was Because of Mr. Embry and his courage to speak up that gave a small time country girl from Glen Allan, Mississippi an opportunity to become the first Black female concessionaire in Rocket Mortgage Field House. It only takes a voice; a courageous voice to propel action. I am blessed as so many to know Jake Ayers, Wayne Embry... because it was/is because of them that we enjoy many freedoms and blessings today. Because these "door openers" stood and continue to stand tall for us, I say thank you ... because it was definitely "because of you!" I salute Mr. Wayne Embry today as did the Toronto Raptors last week for his contributions to the world of sports and to mankind. I am honored to know him!

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Mother, Granny, Entrepreneur, Author, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger. Ohioan by way of Glen Allan, Mississippi.

 

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