“Mommy, what if you get hurt?”

I’ve been sharing this anecdote, courtesy of my four-year-old daughter, B. with some of the folks I’ve been walking with.

In the month before coming to Alabama to participate on the march, I spent quite a bit of time and effort to help my older daughters to understand a bit about the importance of the Voting Rights March and why it left from Selma.

Of course the catalyst for this was the brutality visited upon Jimmie Lee Jackson, his shooting, the need for him to be transported from Marion  where the night march that turned violent took place, and his death.  Jimmie Lee died in Selma, because there was no hospital that would treat Blacks where he was shot. That desperate night car trip to get him help was in vain.

I wanted my girls to know that Jimmie Lee Jackson had tried to register to vote many times, and that he was protecting his mother and grandfather when he was attacked. I found myself explaining that hospital care was segregated.

“Mommy, what if you get hurt on the march?”

I reassured B. that it was a different time, that I wouldn’t do anything dangerous with Baby E; that my march, in this century, would be peaceful.

“But if you got hurt, you could go to the hospital, right?”

“Yes, kiddo.” I tried to be reassuring

“But what if Daddy got hurt? Could HE go to the hospital?”

She continued, “What if I got hurt? Could I go to the hospital?” 

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