Sunday, December 18, 2011

In honor of Myrna Copeland, the finest democratic woman I know

I'm trying to remember if I told Mryna Copeland she was one of my Shero's .  I hope I did, because she was right up there with Viola Luizzio  in my book.  She was a privileged, white woman who used her position of privilege and power  to fight for equal rights, civil rights and human rights for all people.

On a personal note, Myrna was, in my Daddy's words, his buddy.  She drove him to Eutaw, Alabama in Greene County, in her car in the Spring of 1970, along with Dr. John Cashin and others, to introduce him to the community and the School Board when he was named Superintendent of the Green County School System.  Dad says he was scared to death to be riding in the car with a white woman in Alabama at night in 1970, but Myrna was not. My Dad would have been the first African American School Superintendent in the nation if it had been embroiled in the same racial politics that prevail in Alabama and the nation today, and the racial politics Myrna devoted her life to fighting.

It's so like Myrna to be found dead at the health food store she founded and operated for 40 years appropriately named the Pearly Gates.  She died as she lived.  Fighting the good fight.  We will miss her vital presence, her courage, her sense of humor and her comittment to making this world a better place for all of God's people.

 HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- She was considered a woman of strong will, and she had to be to do all that she did during one of the most socially turbulent periods in the history of the Deep South.She was a white woman, one of the few from Alabama, who marched from Selma to Montgomery, belonged to the NAACP and attended strategy sessions at the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Late in her life, she still lived by the motto she had adopted when she was active in the civil rights movement: "Not to have taken part in the actions and passions of your time is to have never lived.''
Rest in the peace you deserve for a life well lived beyond the Pearly Gates.


havealittletalk said...

This is a lovely tribute to a person I remember only as The Pearly Gates lady and whom I now realize I knew nothing important. Thank you.

Redeye said...

Myrna Copeland was much more than The Pearly Gates lady. Thanks for reading.