Aug 5, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday to an American Hero

Today Sardie  Cashwell Jones is being honored in Washington, D.C. on her 100th birthday. An amazing life forged through the hot fires of racial discrimination--she's also going to the White House.

This former Integrationist for the Federal Government can best be described as a Magnet-of-love to all races.

While watching the riots and violence on her new flat screen T.V., this 100 year old lady, whom we met at church 46 years ago and whom we adoringly call Grandma Sardie says,
“I’m so angry watching these young people roam the streets and the politicians fueling their dependency and anger.”

Sardie Jones knew a much harder, more frightening way of life and found the answer to success.

(I’m using the term “colored” because that’s the term Sardie Jones prefers.
Exuberantly she says, “I’m colored and I’m not African-American. I’m not from Africa, I am an American.”)

Some of the humiliation, suffering and scariness she endured:

1.      Imagine -- walking in the street and not allowed on sidewalks…sometimes splashed with mud.

2.      Imagine -- rejected from employment because, “"You're too black."

3.      Imagine -- riding in the baggage car on trains.
       Imagine -- forbidden service in restaurants and shopping in stores.

5.      Imagine -- digging in the trash pile of torn-up discards from white schools for text books.

6.      Imagine -- the back of the bus, the back of the line, always in back of the white man.

Determined to get an education, she prayed hard, studied nights, worked days, and in time landed a job at the Department of the Interior (a time when few women, especially "coloreds" had office jobs.

After  Civil Rights Laws were passed and because of her compatibility with all Races--Sardie was selected to integrate Federal Agencies in Washington. Because of the danger involved, this petite lady was blindfolded and led into the midst of hatred by armed guards.

Early years at Department of Interior
 Always a survivor and determined to be a winner, Sardie made a positive impact among her coworkers and supervisors. During 35 years at the Department of the Interior, she was promoted up the ladder to Section Chief with a high security clearance, while receiving many awards and helping others achieve their dreams.

Just imagine—the little girl who stood outside the drugstore aching to be served an ice-cream cone—years later celebrating her birthday in the Big Apple at famous Sardi's Restaurant; attending the Ebony Fashion Show in New York wearing a full length mink coat; and walking through the front door of the country club as a guest of the National Association of University Women.

Throughout life, she was ridiculed, mistreated and suffered much, but she never complains and laces every conversation with laughter and praise.  Recently I asked what she thinks of protesters in the streets, violence blanketing our nation and unrest between the races.
Sardie with my daughters  @savvybabii and @callmeoui
She said, “Honey,  it breaks my heart…my people have gone back 50 years.” The lady who has an original copy of Dr. Martin Luther  King’s speech from the '73 Washington March says, “I wish I could get in the streets with those young people, I would tell them:

**You aren’t doing right.
**You need to study, get out and learn about life and people.
**You’re going backwards instead of forward.
**You don’t need pity. With God’s help, you can do anything.
     I know, because I have. “

Sardie Cashwell Jones has walked through racist fires to freedom and says, “Honey, we must love all God's children—ALL lives matter. Racism is man's way, Love is God's way."