Racial discrimination has been among the most controversial issues in the lives of the African Americans during the years 1955-1968. It was specifically an attention getting process that the civil rights movement that occurred during the said years has basically affected the lives and the being of the African Americans who lived back then. Up until the present situations governing the American as well as that of the African American communities living within the country’s midst, the effects of this movement in the history still affects the lives of the people involved. True, the intensity of such past account in the current lives of human individuals in the diversified American communities today creates a more vivid picture that defines the difference between freedom and oppression.
The Cortez family was a half African-half Latino family that lived in the United States during these years. It could be observed that their family was a witness to the many cruelties both verbal and actual that the African American society received back then. AS they remained in tack as a family, they too were able to see how things finally changed as situations became better controlled for the sake of the society’s minorities in the United States. Seeing how the Civil Rights Movement of 1986-1954 turned out gave the Cortez family and others in their same situation were given proper chance to see the visibility of hope for freedom again.
Knowing the Cortez Family
Alberta Luther, believed to be a relative of the famous Martin Luther, was married to Rogelio Cortez, an immigrant among the few Latinos in the American soil in the 1950’s. Their marriage gave birth to three children, Marie, Rose and Alfonso. The Cortez family used to live peacefully in a small farm on their own when their region in Mississippi was basically visited by the White Lords and they were taken off their small property and were forced to work for their living under the control of the White Americans. This was one of the hardest truths that the family has to take, but as individuals having no power and no choice, they were not able to do anything but to follow the rules and the demands that came from their lords.
It might have been hard at first especially that their three children were still growing during the time and they knew they had to make time to assist the children. However, because of the situation, they were forced to make arrangements just to be able to respond to the needs of the young ones whenever they can or whenever the chances permit. What made the situation worse was the impeccable political control that the White Americans have over the society. They basically make the rules and the policies especially when it comes to the individuals who are to have power in the government. This means that no African Americans were ever chosen to represent the rights, the voices and the call-outs of the American African society. They appeared like as if they were mere slaves who had no worth at all.
Rogelio Cortez, the head of the family, knew that he needed to do something to secure the society that his three children are to live in within the coming future years of their lives. He never planned that his children would grow up to slaves and remain as slaves forever never realizing their full potential and not able to live their lives to the fullest. This was the reason why it has become his primary goal to help in movements directed towards setting the path towards social freedom of those who were considered minorities in the American communities.
The Movement towards Knowing and Becoming Educated
One of the primary reasons why African Americans were not given the proper chances that they need to be able to realize the fullness of their being is that they were not given the chance to know. Education was denied to the non-whites in the society. This is the reason why movements for closed-door educations were arranged. The basic necessity behind the creation of set-up schedules for educational meetings came into the knowing of the African American communities hence inviting more from the slave class to attend such supposed social meetings. The arrangements were informal, but the knowledge the attendees received from every meeting were incomparable.
Rogelio and Alberta both attended the said set-up educational meetings on their own free time. The schedules were at times hard to follow through; not to mention that parenting three children were also part of their responsibilities. True, stretching their time and putting up with the demands of their masters and their want to being educated was not easy, however, both of them knew that these efforts at present would soon pay its dues and basically give them the chance to live the life that they know they deserve.
Later on, the Mississippi Freedom Rides were imposed during the year 1961. These rides provided a chance for the civil rights movement advocates creating an indicative call and representation to the society showing that they are all ready to take the challenge of being recognized by the community as individuals no lower than the white Americans. Rogelio, Alberta and their three children were among the first trip passengers that were set to arrive in New Orleans right in the morning of May 17. Rogelio knew that this was a very risky decision especially that he would be travelling with his family. However, his willingness to push even for the most impossible mission just to assure his children of their freedom basically motivated him to push through in joining the travel. The journey ended well but some others who were set on the other train rides for the same cause were firebombed and some really faced their death after wanting the feel of freedom.
Continuously Fighting for their Lives
The Cortez family knew that this was just the beginning of their journey to freedom. There are a lot more challenges that they had to face as they arrived in New Orleans. Compromising their beliefs about personal freedom was one of the most conditioning effects of this travel. They had to follow the rules that at times deny them of the most basic things that they were supposed to have access to. At some point, some areas in New Orleans did not allow access for African Americans and other minorities to use the public restrooms as well as other public utilities.
Another matter to consider is that it was hard for the Rogelio and Alberta to find better jobs than enslaving themselves under the hands of the White Lords again. Both of them tried hard to find a job that would support them and their family’s needs, but the search was illusive. Finding the Ruther family, the Cortez’ family was relieved from their stresses and their anxieties. The Ruthers are White American Abolitionists who believed on the advocates of freedom that Martin Luther proposed to the society. As supporters, they took the Cortez family in and assisted them in getting the education that they need. They even handled the teaching personally hence providing Rogelio the knowledge he needs to get a job that would suffice the needs of his family.
Although the wait was long, the Cortez family knew that if they held on longer, they would be able to see the best of what they have worked for in time. Making the best of what they have been given through the Ruther family was one of the best gifts of time that the Cortez family could remember. With that, they know that somehow, with the long travels that they have been in and the lengthened struggles they have had to face, there would surely come a time when their waiting would pay off.
As of now, the Cortez family along with their three already grown children stands to be among the living proof that waiting pays. Although there are still some issues pertaining to racial discrimination and oppression happening today, they know that their life as a family would not be affected as much by these matters as they know they have already passed one of the hardest tests in life that they had to live with in their past. Truthfully, this history that shaped their family created a stronger bond as they learned further from the fruits of their effort that lead them to realizing a more fulfilling life from surviving all the troubles of their past life. This learning has further created a much stronger bond that made their family more intact and ready to face even the possibly more devastating events that are still to come if there are.