A Facebook friend asked who were the black men in the photo. I was the first to respond. I recognized the first on the left, Charles Evers right away. He went on to be a mayor in Mississippi and go Republican. He was also the brother of the late civil rights activist, Medgar Evers. The other two black men in the 1980 photo with then Republican presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan are civil rights activists/leaders were Hosea Williams and Rev. Ralph Abernathy. These men endorsed Ronald Reagan for President. In my mind, I only remember Rev. Abernathy endorsing Pres. Reagan. I also remember my thinking that something was wrong with Rev. Abernathy for endorsing a Republican presidential candidate.
I tried to listen to and like Ronald Reagan as President, but back then, I was too engulfed in group black think. That had me viewing Pres. Reagan through the ‘Democrats only for blacks’ tunnel vision. So yes back then, I did mistake Ronald Reagan’s belief in keeping government out of the average American’s life as a cover for doing nothing about racial injustice. My thinking was also shaped by my Democrat voting parents and the legislative branch of government passing laws against segregation and against denying some legal citizens of color the right to vote in the 60s during my junior high years. Times grew different and finally so did my thinking.