"The big difference between you and me in this fight for rights is that I am not afraid to die for a principle and you are."
Mr. Ernest Wright was concluding his speech. His face showed anger as he faced 2,000 people from the podium stand in the center of Shakespeare Park. The air was charged as the people started realizing what Mr. Wright had just said. Many showed disapproval and resentment because he voiced the truth of the majority of the people listening.
Ernest Wright, being a good speaker, did not pause for comment but kept going to drive his nail deeper and deeper. "I am not afraid to go to jail for a principle and you are. What we need is 10,000 unafraid men as members with their money paid who are unafraid to present themselves for jobs to which they are entitled. We can't get anywhere by being afraid. Let's stand in our own shoe leather. Walk ye like men."
Thus concluding, Mr. Wright lowered the loud speaker to chest level and looked over the crowd. His last statement settling into the ears of the gathered crowd. Then there was applause.
The applause resonated through time 64 years to my ears as I stood on the soft grass of Shakespeare Park. I felt the brisk morning air chilling my bones, a reminder of the forgotten and unknown organizers and people. And the park on Sunday empty of all activity.
© 2005 Students at the Center.