Saturday night, I went to a choir concert called “Beyond the Dream : A gospel concert celebrating 34 years of Dr. Martin Luther King in Orlando”. Now, My kid was singing in it. And if you know me personally – you know I am not a big fan of choir music. Like, I think it’s beautiful, but let’s be honest – ya girl don’t sing in Latin. So, there’s that. But I go to every concert – show, whatever. Because to me, it’s important to show up for people that you love.
Any way, this isn’t a parenting post. At this concert, a group called “The Aeolians” Sang. They are a group from Oakwood University in Alabama. But before they sang – the president of Oakwood University spoke – and let’s just say – that man set the tone for the night. He was powerful, well-spoken, and made this white girl think about who Martin Luther King, Jr. really was. Because do we ever really think about who he actually was?
He was a man that was courageous. He was a preacher. He was a dad. He was a husband. He was a rebel. He was outspoken – and at times, he alienated some of the closest people around him. But he was a lot more than the “I have a dream speech”. I am not judging white America here, I am white. But what I am judging is what I was taught. And I was taught this: “He was an African-American preacher, a civil rights activist, and he gave a speech that started with ‘I have a dream’ – then he was shot in Memphis.” Now, that’s kinda sad that’s all I really knew.
Now, there was once a little girl name Ruby Bridges. And she was the cutest little thing that you ever saw. And she wanted to go to school, just like all little kids want to do. Well, she got voted to start going to the desegregated schools. She didn’t ask to be a Civil Rights Activist, she was six. But that little thing went. Now, if you have kids, and are any type of parent, I would definitely fight for my kids to have the best education. The best of anything, because that’s what we want for our kids, right? Well, lemme put it this way. I have three kids. I have an olive complexion. My kids, two are your standard white, one is almost clear… LOL! I can’t imagine what it would be like, for someone not to allow my daughter into school, because she is super pale. We would all agree that would be ludicrous, right? It was the same thing. THE SAME THING. And while a six year old was walking into school, she was called slurs, had grown folk throwing things at her. Adults. Throwing things at a six year old. I can’t wrap my brains around that.
So, at this concert, what I saw was a celebration. A celebration of someone who helped fight for equality along with them. Who gave them courage, when they needed it. And can I just say, I am so grateful for MLK, Ruby Bridges, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Walter Francis White, and all the other civil rights activists. I am grateful for people who aren’t so clouded and jaded by their own inbred beliefs that they can see, that we are all equal. We are all one. Even the bible condems racisim. It’s from God himself.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galations 3:28
There’s a lot more. A lot, google it. But, that’s my personal fave. Pretty well covers all bigotry I would say.
But you want to know what I saw? I saw people come together as one. And celebrate. Celebrate freedom. Celebrate Love. Celebrate Unity. Black and white. Young and old. All raised their hands in praise, to God. We hugged. We worshiped. We sang. And we also cried. Cried for what has happened. Cried in gratitude for where we are at. And to be honest, cried because we still have such a long way to go. But, when you have groups like the Aeolians, the Orlando Choral Society, a mayor that invests, and a city who supports – we have hope. And if we have hope, we can change the world. So today, let’s be grateful for how far we have come, and vow not to become complacent. Let’s let our passion, fulfill God’s promise – and love become our armor.
For more information on how you can become involved, go to http://orlandochoralsociety.org .
Love fully. Live fully. Shine on.