Written by cycleguy on January 31st, 2017

As I mentioned in the last post, it was Jo’s birthday. I survived the caning I received for telling her age, but other than that I have come out of it relatively unscathed.

We did go see Hidden Figures. What a moving picture! I was born in 1952 and even though I grew up during the age of segregation, I was basically naive. My mother was not a segregationist by any stretch so I was taught all people were worth something. I was never allowed to use the “n” word in her presence, nor was I allowed to make fun of any handicapped person. (Kids can be cruel you know?) I grew up living in the projects, low income housing units built for the steel workers in the 20s, I believe. Improvements had been made but I was still a son-of-the-projects.  I look back now and remember the separate housing units for the black people (that’s one of the names they were called. That and colored people). But I can also look back and realize some of my friends were black kids. I played sports with them. I went to school with them. I was affected by, but in the dark when the riots of ’69-70 hit home to my little town of West Mifflin, PA. I grew up in a high school that was about 1/3 black so I was not out of sorts like so many whites and blacks were. In fact, while former friends were fighting and calling each other names outside before school, I stood inside with Jeff Goldblum (yes him…a Jew); John, a white Catholic; Bruce, a black with concert violinist aspirations; and me, a white Christian. So I knew of difficulty with the races but isolated myself against it.

The movie, Hidden Figures, showed the ugliness and inequality of the whole racial situation. It was, to me, a blight on our country…to think of the Civil War and the freeing of slaves as basically a non-event in our nation’s history. I was struck by the way people were treated.

If I were you, I would make plans to see the movie. Go prepared to get angry. Go also with Kleenex because there are both happy/laughing moments, and also weepy moments. Above all, go prepared to be struck by the reality of God’s love for every individual…no matter the race or color.


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Your mother sounds a lot like mine, Bill. She always taught us to accept others, no matter what their skin color, religion, etc., because they are all God’s children.
    And that was growing up in the South in the segregated 60s!
    I will definitely see this movie.

  2. Pam says:

    Hidden Figures is the best movie I have seen a long, long time. Like you, Bill, I grew up in a town comprised of about 2/3 white and 1/3 black. My early childhood was spent in the “projects” and many of my friends were black. I didn’t know the extent or depth of discrimination till much later in my life. For us, kids were kids–no matter what color their skin.

  3. floyd says:

    I heard that was an excellent movie. I was a kid in So. Cal. in the late sixties, man it was brutal.

    It’s amazing how Christianity survives, then thrives through the ugliness of the flesh. I think it shows the sovereignty of our Father.

    I never did get, still don’t, how someone could think themselves better than anybody else? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

    It points to that ugliest trait that rears its ugly head; pride.

  4. Ceil says:

    Hi Bill! My husband and I saw Hidden Figures a few weeks ago. I agree that it was a great movie. It’s so hard for me to think about black people being treated that way. Like you, I grew up in the north, with parents who wouldn’t stand for any disrespect toward anyone.
    Happy birthday to your dear wife! I’m sorry you got in trouble for spilling the beans on her age. I am sure I won’t remember it at all…