This one goes out to my mentee, who graduated from high school and starts college this week.
Long time readers know the saga of my mentor-mentee relationship…and I promise to post more about it this weekend.
Pride doesn’t even begin to sum up what I feel…go on, sister girl!
Step up on my thinker box.
I do not “own” the Civil Rights Movement.
Ownership is too basic a term.
I own my car…I live the movement.
Everything I am…everything I will be and can be…was fought for and earned through the blood, sweat and tears of regular folks who set aside fear and kept their eyes on the prize.
And when I say everything I mean everything…that’s not debatable – some shit is just fact.
The Civil Rights Movement is my inheritance and I defend and perserve it through action and activism, along with words.
When simple minded attention seeking fools attempt to turn American history into a third rate theatrical spectacle, my response is to demonstrate through the example of my life what the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement is.
Tomorrow August 28th, in honor of the anniversary of the I Have a Dream Speech, I will be volunteering at a shelter for homeless pregnant teens in
city. St. Louis
Tomorrow…August 28th…47 years after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke his dream into history…I will volunteer with homeless vets at another local shelter.
Tomorrow…remembering how thousands gathered 47 years ago to promote peace, equality and empowerment…I will honor the movement by doing anti-poverty work, by taking books to a domestic violence shelter, by signing up for a Habitat for Humanity build, by dropping off clothing to a shelter...by calling up my Aunts and Uncle and telling them THANK YOU for their struggle, courage and strength.
I do not have to reclaim what is mine…every second of every minute of every day I live a life made possible by the social activism of those who came before me.
Tomorrow isn’t about a reclamation…it’s a realization that anti-poverty work, reproductive justice work, anti-war activism and pro-labor work is not and should not be relegated to a few pages in a history book until poverty, restrictions on reproductive health care, war and injustice toward workers are history.
Tomorrow is about consciously remembering sacrifice and rededicating myself to the movement…
…and may those who try to distract from that or redefine that be damned.
I, who inherited this legacy, shall not be moved.
Breathe in…and then release.
…and get about the business of social justice work.