Reflections from Richmond Flowers on Civil Rights

Oct 23, 2020

Photo: Associated Press

Richmond Flowers Jr. shared his reflections on civil rights in the statement below.

I was born and raised in Alabama during the 1950s, and I think it’s fair to say that the majority of my environment was racist. I witnessed terrible inequalities and violence toward people because of the color of their skin. 

My dad helped change the direction in which the South was moving in the 1960s. He entered politics and was elected Attorney General of Alabama. He risked his and his family’s lives to oppose the Ku Klux Klan and the segregationist policies of George Wallace. His courage came with a cost—the destruction of his career and his life. He was framed and sent to prison because he stood for America’s values of equal rights and justice for all. 

While serving as Attorney General, the press asked my dad if he was a racist. His answer was, ‘Yes, I am. It was society’s first gift to me, but I have great hope for my children.’ He paved the way for many by acknowledging the wrong and trying to make it right. I can look around America today and see that we’ve made great strides, but if we don’t come together, we will destroy both the racial and economic progress we have made.

My dad would want me to pass his advice to all who are willing to rise above their ‘first gift:’ Please don’t throw away all the progress that those who came before you have made. 

Dallas Cowboys & New York Giants (1969 – 1973)

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