Fifty years ago, over 250 thousand people gathered to address their government – they were not tear gassed, herded, nor kettled.
They were not declared an illegal assembly , although they had no permit to gather – they knew their right to gather was all they required .
They gathered, spoke , prayed and sang – they voiced emotions from the depths of angry to the heights of love .
There was no property damage , nor any violence.
And as a result – public opinion and the laws of the land – the opinions of the American people , shifted.
Those shifts allowed me to have the life I have in this country. Allowed me educational opportunities and the ability to provide for my children and I am indeed grateful.
However, there is still a vast amount of work still to be done . And the masterwork that resulted from that march 50 years ago , the voting rights act, has been gutted.
It remains a terminally unsafe thing to be a black man , especially a young black man in this country.
It remains that African American struggle at a greater rate for education , housing , and health care in larger numbers that other groups in this country.
This 50th anniversary ought to be a reminder to us – that it’s our willingness to leave our comfort zones and face the unknown that allows change to happen . And that once change is attained – great vigilance and dedication is required to retain and deepen it.
Courage is a requirement in a democracy. Despair, patriarchy, racism,cynicism are toxic pollutants.
Lets walk always in courage beauty and love .
I thank my ancestors and elders for what they did for me fifty years ago .
I pray that I walk powerfully in their foot steps .