2014-02-21 / Columnists

An Intern’s Take

By Ilyassha Shivers

If you follow the news there have been things happening that make you wonder. Are we living in 2014 or 1964? I was not born until 1972, but I have been told that the ‘60s was a special time to be alive. There was a term that was introduced to this country that defined change in that era and that term is Black Power. It was said by a fiery young activist named Stokley Carmichael. If you are interested in the work and organization he was a part of, you can find it on the internet.

Today I am more interested in talking to you about something that caught my attention. If there is one thing I have learned it is that there is a disconnect and lack of respect for the blood, sweat and tears and sacrifice by those who gave their lives for freedom and justice.

Here is a little Shivers family history that speaks of sacrifice. My father’s family moved to Far Rockaway not because they wanted to but because they had to. The Shivers side of my family comes from South Carolina. My grandfather’s name was James Shivers. My father tells me he was a strong man with three tiers of muscle on each bicep. He had a good job at that time working for the county in the ‘50s picking up garbage. But something happened that changed his life and the entire Shivers family. My grandfather witnessed an incident that changed everything. A mother and child were hit and killed by a car that was driven by a white man who was drunk. Some men approached my grandfather and told him to tell what he saw the way they wanted. He refused to go along with their story. As a result, he was not allowed to work anywhere in the south. Time and time again, he found work only to be told a few days later that he had to leave.

Because he was no longer able to provide for his family he had to leave South Carolina and come north. He settled his family on Beach 75th Street in Rockaway.

What do you think? Please send your thoughts and comments to shiverswave@ gmail and don’t forget to read The Wave.

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