For the past month and a half, I have shared podcast suggestions, movies, TV episodes, and books. Today, I want to point you not toward sources of information to take in, but toward points of action.
Simply put, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” belongs to those of use whose weary years and silent tears have been seen by God. It is a hymn of worship to God, not an anthem of allegiance to a flag.
This week is about strange fruit.
When brand names and images are changed in order to be more considerate of a diverse customer base, what feelings does this elicit inside you?
Bayard Rustin, the openly gay activist who was instrumental in organizing 1963’s March on Washington – the march where Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, the march that Al Sharpton has announced plans to replicate this August – was in many ways kept behind the scenes of the Civil Rights Movement because of his status as an openly gay man. Then, as now, folks thought that his sexuality would be a distraction if he featured more prominently in the movement.
I first heard the song “Hell You Talmbout” several years ago, a short month after Sandra Bland was found hanged in her jail cell three days after police stopped her while she was driving. Sandra Bland’s death had shaken me deeply; she very much reminded me of a cousin who is as close to me as a sister. So when Janelle Monae released this cover as a protest song the following month, I sat myself down at my dining room table while my children napped, and I wept.
This article is part of a year-long series. If my work is helpful for you, consider a contribution through Venmo to keep the anti-racism work going.
Beginning today, I will publish a series of posts designed to help those who want to learn and change. Each post will highlight no more than three specific resources to listen to, read, or watch, to expand your knowledge of history and current events, and to spotlight perspectives you may have never before had reason to consider.