In 1965, a Midwest housewife and mother of five decides to leave her family behind to fulfill a desire that spurned by witnessing a horrible event on the evening news. Five hundred miles away in the south, another housewife and mother of four also decides to leave her family to fulfill a desire by watching the same tragic event on the evening news.
Two mothers with different outcomes: one loses her life and the other living on to create a legacy. The two of them shared an inconvenient passion – and that passion was to dismantle the barrier for people to vote in our country.
Inconvenient Passion of Viola Liuzzo (April 11, 1925 – March 25, 1965)
In early spring of 1965, Viola was 39, raising five children and married to a teamsters union business agent in Detroit, Michigan. After watching the film clips of Selma’s Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965), she couldn’t imagine the state troopers’ brutality of attacking young marchers! She and the nation grew furious over the treatment of protesters who wanted to conduct a peaceful march in the South. Feeling somewhat helpless to do something, Mrs. Liuzzo eventually decided to leave her comfortable home in Detroit, drive to the South and joined the movement. Little did she know that her involvement could lead to harsh criticism, physical harm or death – especially brought on by the KKK and other extreme “hate” organizations in the South. Her passion may have overridden anything at the time; yet it was an inconvenient decision to those close to her. Tragically on March 25, 1965, her life ended by the hands of race-hatred KKK men on the lonely two-lane Highway 80 between Selma and Montgomery.
Inconvenient Passion of Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 31, 2006)
In early spring of 1965, Coretta was 38, raising four children and was married to a newly elected Nobel peace prize laureate living in Atlanta, Georgia. Certainly going through the strife of having her home bombed in Montgomery, receiving all types of racial threats and hate mail for more than 10 years, Coretta decided to join her husband on the march from Selma to Montgomery. She too decided to leave her comfortable home in Atlanta to support the movement. Little did she know that her involvement could lead to harsh criticism, physical harm or death – especially brought on by the KKK or other extreme “hate” organizations in the South. Her passion may have overridden anything at the time; yet it was an inconvenient decision to those close to her. She went on to support her husband and the movement. Unfortunately, her young husband’s life ended three years later by the hand of a lone assassin.
You can image the inconvenience of their passion which was not a welcome invitation for their families. The idea of the children not having a nurturing mother around or the notion of both women with self-ambitions ignoring their duties at home were not common in those days.
Eventually, Mrs. Viola Liuzzo’s inconvenient passion, along with other martyrs connected to the Selma movement helped turn the tide of events by allowing all citizens the right to vote. She became one of the unsung heroes in the civil right movement.
Eventually, Mrs. Coretta Scott Kings’ inconvenient passion, along with others in the movement helped turn the tide of events by expanding civil liberties for all in the years succeeding her husband’s death. She became a worldwide leader in her own rights – pushing our country to honor a man who fought for equal justice.
Spiritual Leader Os Hillman wrote the following in his weekly article “Living for a Cause Greater Than Yourself” – God has called each of us to live for a cause greater than ourselves – a life that is dependent on His grace and power to achieve things we never thought possible through our lives.
Do you feel that you have an inconvenient passion? Are you too concerned about how it might be unfavorable to people around you or should you move toward fulfilling your passion that can benefit multitudes of people? The opportunity awaits you…
Let’s go people and do some good!