“This is not just a commemoration or celebration, it is a continuation.”
Reverend Al Sharpton, March 8, 2015 – Brown Chapel in Selma, Alabama
Fifty years seems like so long ago. But as long as my mother and her siblings are alive, I must consider it to be this lifetime. It is still this lifetime as long as we still have provisions that need reauthorization by law officials for all racial minorities to vote fairly. Today, fifty years can be five years ago or easily five nights ago. March 7, 1965, or Bloody Sunday, is the day I imagine they went home and re-thought this demonstration and protest lifestyle. Perhaps some quit while others said, ‘I won’t stop until I have the right to vote and walk this bridge without being harassed.’ And that night, just as Nat Turner saw it written in the sky years earlier, all of their dreams and all of their wishes were of me. Of us. What are we going to do? March 8, 2015 – Jubilee Bridge Crossing, Selma, Al – 50 Year Commemoration of Bloody Sunday
Over the years, integration has changed its’ narrative through education, employment, religion and through accessed media. And this narrative has made its’ way into our homes. But this is not the definition our ancestors yearned for. This is not the full actualization they wanted for us. This slyly crafted narrative denies us of our full potential and has become furniture-like alongside our loveseats and dining room tables. It blends with our agendas, our prayers and our goals. And at some point we changed our will to work within it and create complacency instead of materializing our fully developed affirmations. The danger is, with a million of us adopting the “we can’t have it all” attitude, we will eventually lose everything.
So 50 years ago can be five nights ago and like our ancestors and those before us, on the night of March 7,1965, we have questions to ask ourselves. Do we stay or do we move again tomorrow? If we stay we are satisfied today but if we keep moving we will provide our children with a trail like the 54 mile trail from Selma to Montgomery left for us to commemorate. What are we going to do?