So, I was with my church community last Saturday. Because it’s the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we had an event with a speaker who discussed Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. One of the main points the speaker put forth is that there’s no room for anger in a non-violent movement. Our group is very diverse but there seemed to be a stress line dividing our Black and White members on that particular point. I noticed that the White members wholly embraced the idea while we African Americans were more reserved about it. It seemed that while some of us felt the emphasis has to be on reconciliation in addressing inequity in this country, others expressed the need for justice to be the centerpiece. It was immediately clear to me during the discussion that the effects of racism in the US and the difficultly of trans-racial conversation about it was, once again, at play.
I thought about the event for days afterwards. How best would I explain to my White fellow members why I think anger and a thirst for justice are at the forefront of movements for equality and non-violence is not so much a belief system as it is a political strategy? I decided to make a short video to express myself. It’s the first time I’ve made one so it’s a little rough but I think it makes the point. Both songs on the audio track are called “How I Got Over”. The first one is the song Mahalia Jackson sang at the March in 1963. (Recording from “The Essential Mahalia Jackson”,1980, iTunes Store) The second one is The Roots from their album by the same name. (“How I Got Over”, 2010, iTunes Store) Here is the link to the video on YouTube. Please watch and let me know your opinion. http://youtu.be/6LKmTvFJEG8
Then today I went to the National Mall for the anniversary march. As it was fifty years ago Black and Brown people (and because it’s 2013 every combination thereof) came together en masse to tend to business. The job isn’t done yet, the dream not completely fulfilled but I’m glad to say, we’re still willing to show up and stand up. Here are some pictures to prove it.