For Black History Month this year I did something new; I talked to my father about his involvement in the SCLC during the Civil Rights Movement. My father joined the movement at the age of 15 and marched alongside Clarence Mayfield, Hosea Williams and other names you know and honor from this pivotal time in American History.
I asked my father; what had him join what he calls “The Movement”. His reply “it wasn’t too much a black man could do then – in regards to what was happening to us, how we were treated. But we could march, a black man could march, so that’s what we did.” I noted that 15 was young, for him to be thinking about joining in something so big, that would eventually make a difference for the whole world. He says “I didn’t have a choice.”
I listened as he began to list town after town, city after city that he had marched in. I cried as I imagined my father, a 15 year old man- marching for basic human rights, for the freedom to live life as a human being. I’m still crying as I share this with you. Present to: 1. I was always going to be who I became 2. I’m the freedom fighter for my generation.
I told my father so. “ Dad, you know you did what there was for you to do at that time; in the face of inequality and the serious threat against the black race in America. Now it’s on me and my generation; we’re facing the same atrocities – but now these evils are being hung on the necks of the human race in total. Seems like when it was just black people being burdened with inequality in this country- nobody thought anything was wrong-except for the few who did. Now, everyone is burdened and it seems like still nobody cares-nobody is coming. “
Except we are. We are coming. We are here. Our fathers and mothers marched. And now so do we. In the face of the same machine that continues to devalue and deform what it is to be a human being; regardless of your skin color, your hair color, your eye color- the color of your blood is what rings true- YOU ARE HUMAN. Your very existence grants you the right to BE. That’s why we call ourselves Human Beings.
Only thing is – we call ourselves Human Beings; but we’ve become Human Doings. So disconnected from our Being that we allow Others to reap the benefit of that disconnect and watch like innocent bystanders as our freedoms are systematically taken from us on a daily basis. We’ve played the role of victim for so long- it’s become all we know. BUT WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. We have a say in how EVERYTHING in our life goes and flows. What is required of us now is not to just march, not to just complain about how it should be; what’s required of us now is to allow our discontent, our frustration, our resignation to become the very energy that propels us forward into a future of freedom. Stand right where you are. So few of us stand- let alone march. So start by standing. Right where you are. Stand for your truth in the face of popular opinion. Stand for your family, your community, your city, your state, your country. Stand for your race: the HUMAN RACE.
After all, at the end of the day; a race is just a game. So play to win. Play to win over tyranny, over inequality in all of its forms. Play to win over poverty and discrimination in your country and in the world. Play to win the game of Human Being. Play to win your freedom. Play to win back the rights that were stolen from you the moment you were born into this realm. No matter who you are, where you are, what you are. Stand and Play to Win.
Power to All People
All People are Free