Today we got to meet two wonderful sisters, Jackie and Ronnie, who spoke to us about the the history of the Arlington area and the history of the chuch were staying at: Our Lady Queen of Peace. They talked to us for over an hour and made me aware of issues they faced while growing up as African American women in the community. They became a part of the Our Lady queen of Peace Catholic Church when they were children. The chuch first started out as a predominately black Catholic Church and has been here for around 70 years. When Jackie and Ronnie were growing up, the problem of seggregation was apparent in the schools, churches, and restaurants. Jackie and ronnie's church posed as a sanctuary and safe haven for them after school hours or whenever they needed a place to go. I found it interesting how this church served as more than just a church for them and other people in the community. In my personal experience, my home town church never acted this way for me or other members. There were no activities after school or events that made me feel part of the community. What's great about our Lady Queen of Peace today is that this church values their members and wants to be that support system for the community. This parish makes sure that everyone feels welcomed and cared for. Today, they have many different styles of masses, like Gospel mass and a Spanish mass.
These women also had the privilege to see Martin Luther King Jr during the Civil rights movement. Jackie even said that she climbed a tree to get to see him give his powerful speech. Both of these women were a pleasure to meet. I absolutely loved hearing their personal stories and experiences growing up during the time of the civil rights movement and all of the drastic changes that occurred in the US. I can't wait to learn to more throughout this trip!