Things That I Loved About America: The Reformers Fighting For Social Justice

I love history. What I love about history Is learning about the great reformers and radical activists who fought to expand American freedoms to marginalized groups within this country. I learned a lot about them from reading history books from the library or watching a documentary on T.V. These are the abolitionists, women suffragists, union leaders, civil rights activists, feminists, LGBTQ rights activists, immigrants rights activists, advocates for the poor.

Some of these people were great leaders and great speakers like Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Mother Jones, W.E.B. DuBois, Dorothy Height, Gloria Steinem, Dolores Huerta, Martin Luther King Jr, Harvey Milk. Some were behind-the-scenes people who walked picket lines, passed out flyers, got signatures for petitions. Some would open their homes to activists in hostile communities and cook them breakfast, or quietly give them money for bail to get out of jail, or just give an encouraging word. And some people would show their support for a cause just by voting.

They tried to change opinions and attitudes. And slowly the country improves. A white Southerner tries to change and makes his first black friends. A husband begins to share in the household chores and supports his wife’s decision to get her first job. Christian parents support and continue to love their child who comes out to them as gay. A wealthy person volunteers at a food shelter and learns of the struggles of being poor and homeless.

This country will make mistakes as it moves towards change. It’ll take two steps forward and one step back. But if we persist and stand up for what is right, America will get better.

Here is an excerpt of the last speech that Martin Luther King Jr gave just a day before he died. I think it summarizes the goal of all reformers in history: to get American to live up to its high ideals.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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