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Saturday, January 10, 2015

So Far to Go...

I spent my Saturday in my absolute FAVORITE way--at the movies.  I saw two films today: Selma and The Imitation Game.  Both were wonderful--heartbreaking, well acted, so terribly sad and so terribly important.

We have come so very far from the days of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but we have so very far to go.  I sat in the theatre watching the events from 1965 unfold and sobbed.  I was alive in 1965, of course, but I was too young to have fully absorbed and understood what was going on in this country at the time.  When the bomb exploded in the church in Birmingham in the first few minutes of the movie, I sobbed.  It was not the last time I cried.  As a person who prides herself on not seeing color, I was truly ashamed to be white as I watched how African-Americans fought to win the right to vote.  The hate, the violence, the killing--we have come so far in this country but we have SO very far to go. 

I know that my words don't capture the power of the film--and in a way, I'm glad they don't.  See it.  Cry through it.  Feel it.  And then talk about it.  Talk about where we were.  Talk about where we are.  And once you've talked about it, look at what YOU can do to help us move further.

The Imitation Game, like Selma, is also a true story.  And while African-Americans' mistreatment was the focus of the latter, the treatment of homosexuality in England was one of the focal points of the former.  Alan Turing was probably the world's first computer genius--a genius whose invention helped end World War II two years early and saved hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of lives.  And yet, because he was gay--which was ILLEGAL in England until 1967--he was treated in a horrific manner.

I won't spoil the end of the movies for you, although if you know your history, you know how each movie ends.  They were both wonderful, and I recommend them both.  We have come such a long way, and we should be encouraged by that.  Still, we have so very far to go...and I, for one, hope to see us make progress, however slow that progress may be, every day.

Oh, and yes...I did have popcorn at the movies.  (I always do!) But a small popcorn lasted over two movies, and I still only ate half of it!  I'm a cheap date!

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