Celebrating Black History Month: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME?
The other day I was searching through boxes in my attic for a book. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but an old folded-up newspaper caught my eye. Yellow and tattered on the edges, it was an issue of THE HARTFORD TIMES, dated Tuesday, Nov. 26, 1963. Fifty-eight years ago!
I stare at the photo of a black gentleman on the cover with the words THE NEGRO IN HARTFORD bolded in red under the picture. I spend the next several hours pouring through one account after another of “The Negro in Hartford” as of 1963—many hopeful, promising visions of “We Shall All Overcome.”
However, I know the truth, recalling my painful experience as a white child wishing to embrace a black family who moved into our white neighborhood, and only to be told by my parents that my black friends couldn’t come into the yard when my grandparents visited, and they weren’t welcome in the house.
At a young age, I knew in my heart it was dead wrong.
I want to share with you an article written by Shirley Scott, then a 31-year-old Hartford Times Staff Writer, published in the November 1963 Hartford Times Newspaper. She went on to become an acclaimed journalist. I want you to decide if we have achieved the goal of honoring our nation’s rich Black History. Have we made the gains?