“The Way To Right Wrongs is To Turn the Light of Truth Upon them” – Ida B. Wells
It was the night of March the 7th, 1965, 57 years, and one day ago. America watched the Nurenburg Trials, a major Television event about Nazi Germany’s bigotry and those who kept silent to the eerily dark night of world history. Equally chilling is what happened in America’s backyard earlier that day. In Selma, Alabama, 27-year-old future congressman John Lewis, now deceased, and 600 African American Protesters were brutally beaten by state troopers while crossing the Edmond Pettus Bridge. Breaking News interrupted this broadcast and others nationwide to show what was later known as Bloody Sunday.
The world watched the “Dirty South,” and America caught on video, doing what it had done all 350 years prior. The march protested continued voter suppression and intimidation efforts against African Americans.
However, this event marked a positive, what one might call a racial reckoning, a parallel to “the George Floyd incident.” Momentum led to the August 6th signing of the 1965 voting rights act.
“Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
This is a new season. The resolve is still alive through the hopes of many. Spring’s lengthening days serve as a reminder. The faith that existed in souls of the past is yet still active in millennials, generation z, and many of us children of the 1960s and beyond. We must take a collective breath, knowing that there is a light that shines in the darkness.
Poised for revelation are collectives of the courageous ready to pick up the mantle. The new season of articulators’ voices and scribes personify this movement; dreamers rise like the Pheonix from the ashes. New voices pave the way for tomorrow’s landscape.
Scripture instructs us to “”Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV)
Thoughts, passions, and convictions are transposed into words written to inspire, whether the Meroitic cursive inscriptions carved onto the Stela in ancient Kush, to the writings of Homer and Herodotus of ancient Greece. Christ’s Sermon On The Mount, Paul’s epistles, the Magna Carta, Martin Luther’s 95 theses, and the Declaration of Independence, were the historic platforms of transformational change. They’ve always involved voices of clarity.
Led by Alain Locke and Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, a chorus of Historians, scribes, and intellectuals birthed the Harlem Renaissance. From the black Manifesto to the 2013 tweet “#Blacklivesmatter” heard worldwide, the word has been made flesh in those who have recognized and bravely sought out to solve a problem.
Thank you, Dr. Jemar Tisby, for telling the truth in the “Color of Compromise,” Ava Marie DuVernay for illustrating the story of Selma on the silver screen, and Ibram X. Kendi for teaching us how to be Anti Racist. Nikole Hannah Jones speaks with the clarity of Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Rosa Parks, Fanny Lou Hamer, Harriott Tubman, and others in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the 1619 Project.
It’s a new season; voting, civil and human rights remain issues of today. However, beyond the chatter, stop and listen to a few contemporary orators:
“I know this moment feels bad. But it’s because we are confronting the rot at the foundation. We have the opportunity now to dig it out and rebuild.” Sherrilyn Ifill
“I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed.” Colin Kaepernick
“Love is not a weak, spineless emotion; it is a powerful moral force on the side of justice.” Bernice King
To be silenced in abdication to the status quo would be injustice, i.e., “Silence is Betrayal.-MLK.” What is the subsequent appearance of tangible change, and who will its champions be? Keep breathing, keep speaking truth to power. Together we can make a difference.
Kevin Robinson Founder of Three-Fifths Magazine
By Kevin Robinson Founder/Editor-Publisher of Three-Fifths Magazine