Looking through the doors of the same school that 9 brave students were almost kept from entering and seeing President Obama's face on a hall poster. 50 years and we went from fighting for basic African american rights to one leading our country.
We went to The Boulevard - my first time at a gospel church. I kind-of wanted to become a member, just in case I'm ever in Memphis again. Loved it. It was one of the few services in my life where I've felt a connection with God while actually in church. The Blvd didn't feel like church as much as an atmosphere made up of people crying out for God, whether it be in thanks, praise, or pain. The service was not rushed or dictated. As long as the church's people were speaking/shouting out to God, everything else could wait. I could feel God 100 % in that sanctuary. They were connected and dependent on a higher being in an indescribable way. He could be felt in the core of their spirit, flesh and outcry. I found myself asking if I take advantage of my ability to cry out to God when I have the opportunity. To feel completely stripped away of everything except his presence. This was true worship - a pouring out of human soul and emotion to the one who gives us emotion. Connectivity in it's finest.
"You may not have gotten what you expected, but did you get what you needed?"
Also in Memphis:
The MLK documentary: The Witness.
I felt stationary afterwards. My heart had an overwhelming sense of loss. I gained a new appreciation for Dr. King's life. The way he lived in constant sacrifice for something bigger than himself. He was loved and respected by so many for being such a visionary. A living example of someone who fights for injustice until they can fight no more. He was one man, but showed the world the difference one person's voice could make. What if everyone believed in change like that?
Unremitting struggle. Highlander Folks School. Philip Randolph. Emit Till. Rosa Parks. Grass roots. Sit ins. Freedom rides.
Dialogue groups in place now on their campus - frank, civil conversation about race. A great step in my opinion, and it seems to be working.
"Justice is a perquisite to reconciliation."
Rituals of atonement ... eventually lead to policy changes.
The idea of racism acting as a system that we can study and dismantle.
ONE Mississippi - tires to end social discrimination; created after an African american tried to go to a white fraternity party.
"Teach and fear no more.
Insist and fear no more.
Unite and fear no more."
--> This didn't end up being used.
"To say fear is a word we're not going to use is a racist decision."
Alabama notes soon.