If anything, my internship has made me so much more aware of history and how we are in our own moment of history right here and right now. In some ways, I feel more connected than ever to the influential figures of our past. Those people were humans, living through a tumultuous time in their own lives which they, I imagine, also did not anticipate. But they lived, and survived, and became resilient figures that grace the pages of this magazine. While I, of course, cannot liken myself to Margaret Murray Washington, the Black suffragette and leader of the Tuskegee Women’s Club, who is the primary figure of La-Kisha Emmanuel’s “Tuskegee Clubwomen and the Fight for Suffrage” from Issue 137, I see her resilience in the activists and organizers of today. My work as an intern has taught me about the power of history, and in particular, those aspects of history that we do not necessarily always learn about in the classroom—the people who come to life on the pages of this magazine because of a writer’s valued research and dedication. If we are to learn from history, as we are often told to do, now is the time to turn to these change-makers who endured, and listen to their stories as we face our own uncertainty. For we are also figures of history, living through a tumultuous time, and learning more and more about our own sense of resilience.
Megha Patel is a master’s degree candidate in literature at the University of Alabama. Her concentration is in contemporary American literature, particularly African American literature. She was born in Stockbridge, Georgia; raised in Alabaster, Alabama, and in the North Georgia area, until attending Agnes Scott College. She is currently a Writing Center assistant director and a Composition I instructor at the University of Alabama.