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Notes On a Moment in Time 

From the Daughter of a Civil Rights Leader.

By Atty. Daphne Barbee-Wooten

Attorney Daphne E. Barbee-Wooten practices employment and

civil rights law in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is a published author and videographer, with many books and articles to her credit. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Washington-Seattle and a B.A. Degree in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Hawaii NAACP 2014, along with her husband. She received the 2016 Civil Rights Attorney award from Sisters Empowering Hawaii. She is also a member of the African American Film Festival committee at the Honolulu Art Museum.

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People ask me about this photograph to this very day.

That’s me on the right. Daphne Barbee. At the time, I am 12 years old.

This photograph was taken in 1967, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It pictorially captures a moment in time in the Civil Rights Movement, of which my father, Attorney Lloyd A. Barbee was a major figure. He was life-committed, to improve the lives of the residents of our city.

We are getting ready to march for fair housing.

My brother Finn Barbee is behind my father’s left shoulder. Clarise, a supporter of my father, and my child care provider, is to my father’s right shoulder.

Our march would take us across the city’s South Street Bridge.Those living on  the South side of Milwaukee were predominantly white at that time and did not want to integrate with African Americans.

Marching across the south side bridge was dangerous.
Racists lined up with broken bottles, stones, crushed beer cans and knives to threaten and attack us civil rights marchers.

I, amongst other protestors with my father, were listening to someone

as we gathered to march.

My father’s arms were crossed. My arms were crossed. I think I mimicked his arms crossed stance because he taught me that crossing your arms shows

you mean business. It is a strong stance.

I encourage all young people who care about justice to get involved.

And I encourage ALL parents to include their children in their social justice activities. Encourage your children. Provide them with the tools to gain civic awareness. Encourage them to participate in protesting unfair laws.

Because of my father’s bravery, commitment, and most of all – his actions,

I became a Civil Rights Lawyer. I followed in his footsteps.

And to this very day, at times I still cross my arms.

And I give a firm stare whenever I see injustice.

Lloyd A. Barbee (1925-2002) was an attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From 1965 until 1977, he served in the Wisconsin State Assembly. While in the legislature, Barbee led efforts to end housing discrimination, legalize abortion, legalize marijuana and advance human rights.

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