My family was transferred from Washington Heights in New York City to Hot Springs, Ark. in 1966. Race relations in this country were terrible.

I saw blatant discrimination first hand, and lived through some of the most challenging years when African - Americans were not only discriminated against, but loathed by some white people and loved by other white people. A lot has changed in the last 50 years, and for the better.

As a way to launch Black History Month in February, the New Bedford Historical Society in partnership with the New Bedford Whaling Museum will show the excellent and family-friendly movie, The Watsons Go To Birmingham, on Saturday, Feb. 1 between 2 and 5 p.m. at the museum's theatre. This event is free and open to the public.

The film tells the story of a loving African - American family from Flint, Mich. in 1963. The oldest son gets into some trouble and his parents decide he should spend some time with his very strict grandmother in Alabama. The entire family travels there by car and during their visit tragic events take place that affect them as a family. The film is a good way for our younger people to see some of the positive changes that have come about in the last 50 years.