Monthly Archives: July 2020

Thank You Mr. Lewis

Thank You, Mr. Lewis

I wanted to take this opportunity on the day we lay John Lewis to rest to say thank you, Mr. Lewis, Thank You for your life dedicated to causing GOOD TROUBLE to see that America lives up to the words upon which it was created, that all men are created equal.
In 1961 at the tender age of twenty-one, he was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. Mobs of racists beat Mr. Lewis, but that did not deter John Lewis. He would not let others’ hatred and violence stop him from fighting against the evils of segregation.

A little over a year before I was born, on March 7, 1965, a twenty-five-year-old John Lewis led the Selma to Montgomery across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a bridge named after a confederate general and KKK grand wizard, on a day that would come to be known as Bloody Sunday because of the brutal attack foisted upon Mr. Lewis and the other marchers. The actions of Mr. Lewis and those protestors led President Johnson to promise to send a voting rights bill to Congress that week. He was issuing an immediate statement “deploring the brutality with which a number of Negro citizens of Alabama were treated” On March 15, the president convened a joint session of Congress, outlined his new voting rights bill, and demanded that they pass it. In a historic presentation carried nationally on live television, making use of the most extensive media network, Johnson praised African-American activists’ courage. He called Selma “a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom” on a par with the Battle of Appomattox in the American Civil War. Johnson added that his entire Great Society program, not only the voting rights bill, was part of the Civil Rights Movement. He adopted language associated with Dr. King, declaring that “it is not just Negroes, but it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome. The bill was passed that summer and signed by Johnson as the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965. This is widely considered a watershed moment in the Civil Rights movement.

In 1988, the year after he was sworn into Congress, Lewis introduced a bill to create a national African American museum in Washington. The bill failed, and for 15 years, he continued to introduce it with each new Congress. Still, each time it was blocked in the Senate until finally, in 2003, President George W. Bush signed the bill to establish the museum. The National Museum of African American History and Culture held its opening ceremony on September 25, 2016.

Today as an African American, every time I freely walk-in the voting booth without the fear of being turned away because of my skin color, I owe it to the actions of Mr. Lewis.

Every time as an African American, I travel to the south without using a separate bathroom or being turned away from a restaurant because of the skin color. I owe it to the actions of John Lewis.

Every time I travel with a white friend in the south as an African American, we can ride next to each other I owe it to John Lewis.

To the day he was taken from us to his eternal life with the Lord, Mr. Lewis remained faithful to the cause, his mission, to give a voice to those who had no voice, to fight for racial equality, to cause as much GOOD TROUBLE that was needed to ensure America never forgets that all men are created equal.
Thank You, Mr. Lewis

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A society that embraces ignorance can not expect to survive

‪It’s from a place of arrogance that a republic willingly embraces ignorance among it citizens and expects to thrive. It’s from that same place of arrogance that those citizens bestow leadership on and blindly follow those who peddle ignorance for their own personal gain and expects to survive.‬

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You Were Too Busy

You never saw me. Oh, you saw the color of my skin, but you never saw me.
How could you?
When I walked into the store, you were too busy following me around.
When I sat down at my desk, you were too busy wondering how I got into this school.
When I moved into my office, you were too busy thinking I was just another affirmative action hire.
When I moved into my home, you were too busy wondering if the property value would go down.
But what you didn’t see is while you were too busy to see me, I was too busy to see you either.
Not because of the color of your skin.
That was of no importance to me,
Because I know you have the system rigged against me
I was too busy studying and working twice as hard as you.
I was too busy finishing in the top 10% of my high school class.
I was too busy deciding what university was worthy of me accepting their full academic scholarship.
I was too busy graduating from that university summa cum laude.
I was too busy upon graduation shifting through my countless job offers.
I was too busy purchasing my home because that full academic scholarship I got meant I didn’t have all that student debt you did.
So since you can’t see me let me tell you who I am.
I’m that person who will never fake who I am to make you feel comfortable,
who has no desire to prove my worth to you,
who will never apologize for the hue of my skin.
So, you keep busy looking at my beautiful bronze skin
or
get with the times and see me for who I am.
Either way, I’m going to keep soaring.

Like the giant oak tree…

Our lives have always mattered.
Our voices will never be silenced.
Our beauty is undeniable.
Our intellect is unsurpassed.
From our land, humanity was born.
From Kings and Queens, we descended.
Our freedom you did take
But
Our minds always have been free.
Our hearts always have been free.
Our souls always have been free.
And because you could not capture them.
We have soared
Our contributions undeniable, too numerous to dismiss
Our history is not just our history.
Our history is American history.
Like the giant oak tree, we are rooted in the very fabric of this country.
Without us, it would not exist.
As James Brown exclaimed
Say it loud
We are BLACK, and we are PROUD!