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The original item was published from 1/16/2023 7:03:10 PM to 1/24/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: January 16, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Greenburgh resident Barbara Johnson Armstrong witnesses history

From the Civil Rights movement to the Swearing in of Georgia's first African American Senator - Greenburgh resident Barbara Johnson Armstrong witnesses history

From the Civil Rights movement to the Swearing in of Georgia's first African American Senator - Greenburgh resident Barbara Johnson Armstrong witnesses history

  

Greenburgh resident, Barbara Johnson Armstrong attended the swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected Georgia Senator, the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock. Armstrong met Senator Raphael Warnock over twenty years ago, while he was a Ph.D. student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In 2005, Armstrong participated in a mission trip to South Africa along with Senator Warnock and others. She followed his ministerial trajectory from Abyssinian Baptist Church, in Harlem, New York, to Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore, Maryland, and finally, to the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. For the past two years, Armstrong joined in a weekly prayer circle that was developed shortly after Senator Raphael's first Senatorial term. At his second victory, he invited her to attend his swearing-in ceremony in the U.S. Capital Building.

As Barbara remembers the turbulence of the Civil Rights Movement during her childhood, she recalls African Americans not represented well in government and in great disparity and inequalities in our society. It was rare to see African Americans elected to the U.S. Senate. She felt deeply gratified when Senator Warnock was reelected for a second term by Georgians of every race, creed, and color. In his acceptance speech, he noted that his mothers’ brown hands had picked cotton and tobacco for meager wages in white-owned fields. Tears came to Barbara Armstrong's  eyes when she heard him say, “That in 2022, his mothers’ hands picked her son to represent her state in the U.S. Senate.” The change for which the late Dr. King hoped, prayed, and advocated is indeed coming, albeit slowly.

We will add this story to the collection of African Diaspora stories. If you have a story about your experiences during or after the Civil Rights movement please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com

PAUL FEINER

 

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