Tag Archives: unsung

Keshia Thomas reflects on saving man from beating outside KKK rally


Keisha

 

Below Article written by

By Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com The Ann Arbor News
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on October 31, 2013 at 5:35 AM, updated October 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2013/10/former_ann_arborite_reflects_o.html

 

Keshia Thomas is now in her 30s and living in Texas, but she’s still remembered for an act of courage and kindness at the age of 18 when she saved a man in a Confederate shirt from being beaten outside a Ku Klux Klan rally in Ann Arbor.

The Ann Arbor News caught up with Thomas by phone on Wednesday as accounts of her inspiring story from the 1996 incident were once again making their way around the web following a feature story in BBC News Magazine.

“Personally, the one thing I take away from it is that you never know what change can happen in just a moment,” she said of how things unfolded that day. “Whether you do the right thing or the wrong thing, change happens in just a moment.”

Thomas was with an anti-KKK group protesting the rally the white supremacist organization was holding outside Ann Arbor’s city hall on June 22, 1996. At one point, a woman with a megaphone shouted, “There’s a Klansman in the crowd!”

Thomas, who was still in high school, turned and saw Albert McKeel Jr., clad in a Confederate shirt with a Nazi tattoo on his arm. It wasn’t long before mob mentality took over and the crowd had McKeel on the ground.

Thomas, horrified to see the man being kicked and beaten, threw herself on top of McKeel to shield him from the blows.

Thomas said she hasn’t had any contact with McKeel since that day, but she did meet one of his family members some months after the incident. She said a younger man came up to her in a coffee shop and thanked her.

“For what?” she asked. “That was dad,” the man replied.

Learning that the man had a son, Thomas said, gave her a greater perspective on everything.

“Imagine what would have happened if they had killed his father out there,” she said. “That would have just been another person filled with anger, hate and revenge.”

Attempts to reach McKeel were unsuccessful.

Thomas, who was born in Detroit and raised in Ann Arbor, said she moved out of the area back in 2002 and lived in southern California for a while before moving to Houston about a year ago, where she now works at a restaurant.

She said she still has family in the Ann Arbor area and plans to move back to Michigan before long so she can be part of the revitalization of Detroit.

“Detroit is getting a lot of negative attention with the bankruptcy and everything that’s going on, but I’m really proud of what people are doing there,” she told the Ann Arbor News on Wednesday. “We have to continue to go forward.”

Thomas said she’s concerned about the violence that plagues the city, where the homicide rate is the highest it’s been in 20 years and shootings occur daily. FBI crime statistics show Detroit witnessed 386 homicides in 2012.

“You can’t change an environment like Detroit until you change people’s thought process,” Thomas said. “If you can change somebody’s mind, thoughts and ideas, then their actions change, and that’s the most important thing.”

Thomas said she’s still trying to make a difference in the world and still trying to break down racial stereotypes through small acts of kindness.

She said disaster relief work has been a passion of hers over the years, whether that’s meant going to Ground Zero after the twin towers fell or helping those in need following Hurricane Katrina and wildfires in California.

 

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Word from me:

To add to this story, McKeel’s son found her later in his life and thanked her for stepping in  to protect his father that day.  I think that right there shows a lot about the effect she had. The son didn’t have to come to seek her out, but he did, the son of a clansman  sought to seek her out to thank her .

Imagine that….. 🙂

 

#unsung

 

 

 

It took only One – Olivia Engle


On Earth Day I thought to cite the other species that is fighting against extinction….not in their lives themselves but in the way they value their own lives and way of living at the cost of others. What is dying in us is the ability to be empathetic . We are letting apathy grow in us at the cost of others. Our population is growing, yes, but our lack of compassion is not keeping step with that rise in our numbers. I am just asking you to CARE just a little more than you did yesterday…

#unsung

 

Please also go to  theFeatheredSleep to see about participating in #Unsung heroes in writing your own little piece on your own blog.  🙂

Ain't no rest for the Wicked - Philip Wardlow - The real and the sensual sides to life in all its facets..

OliviaEngel

It took only one face on the list to make my brown eyes brim,

It took only one big glorious smile to enter into me and

have my heart fill  up and overflow onto the floor.

I didn’t want to look too deeply for it cut too deep,

yet I feel I should for her.

Here was a life never to know another day.

Here was a little girl with laughter in her

eyes and a future as bright as the sun;

I could feel that warmth radianting,

and seeping into me as I saw her

soul shining forth from the screen.

It took only one and there are

so many more.

It took only one and her name

was Olivia Engle.

By Philip Wardlow 2012

#unsung

View original post

It took only One – Olivia Engle


OliviaEngel

It took only one face on the list to make my brown eyes brim,

It took only one big glorious smile to enter into me and

have my heart fill  up and overflow onto the floor.

I didn’t want to look too deeply for it cut too deep,

yet I feel I should for her.

Here was a life never to know another day.

Here was a little girl with laughter in her eyes

and a future as bright as the sun;

I could feel that warmth radianting,

and seeping into me as I saw her

soul shining forth from the screen.

It took only one and there are

so many more.

It took only one and her name

was Olivia Engle.

 

By Philip Wardlow 2012

#unsung