Prolific writer and attorney, Laverne enjoys seeking new challenges, critiquing experiences, and exploring the world through words. You may sign up to follow Laverne on Twitter @GaRuleoflaw.
Latest by Laverne Gaskins
By Laverne Gaskins | March 6, 2015
Last week, I was invited to serve as keynote speaker for a Black history program for secondary school students, under the theme of Dreams: Past, Present and Future. As I considered a variety of topics under the broad parameter, I quickly settled on the historical significance of Selma, Alabama. While preparing my remarks, I was concerned that the history of Selma and the Voting Rights Act may not be relevant to a young audience.
Thankfully, the movie Selma, and the Academy Awards given to artists Common and John Legend for their song “Glory,” offered the perfect vehicles for bridging the generational divide. The movie fit squarely into the program’s theme: it was present day depiction of past events that demanded …
By Laverne Gaskins | January 8, 2015
For years I’d heard about an island near Savannah that is inaccessible by road, and whose natural habitat was largely undisturbed by modern encouragements. One day, on my return from a trip to Savannah, I convinced my husband to make an unscheduled stop to visit the island.
That day, after speaking to an employee of the Department of Natural Resources, I quickly learned that, as a visitor, there was no such thing as an impromptu visit to the island.
One of the major hurdles for any visitor is the fact that the ferry transports people to the island only on two scheduled trips a day.
Another issue involves what I refer to as the need for a sponsor/guide on the …
By Laverne Gaskins | July 23, 2014
It’s July. I’m in Las Vegas. The temperature is beyond hot, and the wind feels like the air from a blow dryer. The local forecast is predicting temperatures in the 100s for the remainder of the week. Las Vegas is a city that demands attention. The lights, the tall buildings peaking above a seemingly visible heat wave, and the ever-present billboards promise entertainment and a brief deviation from the demands of life’s routine.
I am not in Vegas for the shows or the gambling, although, I did try my luck on a slot machine and lost all of my $5 investment. I am one of hundreds of members attending the NAACP’s 105th Annual Convention.
During Friday’s press conference, NAACP’s President …
By Laverne Gaskins | July 15, 2013
When my husband and I were close to our destination in Alabama, we decided to stop for gas and stretch for a few minutes. I asked someone pumping gas nearby, “ How far are we from Selma?” I already had an idea, but I wanted to confirm that my GPS was not off kilter. “Selma is not far from Montgomery. It’s about forty five minutes from here. Where y’all from? Are you going to the march?” he asked. Exhausted from the long ride, I just nodded affirmatively, muttered “yea”, and told him we were from Georgia. The words “are you going to the march”, seem a little surreal given that the year is 2013, and not 1965.
On March 3, …
By Laverne Gaskins | June 5, 2013
“I remember it cost either five or ten cents to ride the train. It was not too long a ride. It was fun, and a lot of us went to town like that on Saturdays,” my mother said as she reminisced about her teen years. She shared with me her fond memories of riding the train while growing up in the rural South. Typically, I either fly or drive if my trip involves traveling across several states; and I never have considered the train as a real option. My unfamiliarity with train travel allowed me to default to the collective images I have gleaned from TV or movies. The lack of actual experience, and limited information, fueled an inaccurate perception. …