A Song from Mark Williams from The Pittsburgh Project

Had the pleasure of hearing him perform this song over the summer when I took some youth there for a week of service. All I can say is powerful!!!  (Oh and excuse the bad camera work, they were moving it all around at the end).

Advertisements

WAKE UP – John Legend and the Roots

What a great album… I’ve been jamming to it all week, and it keeps getting better. I’ve always liked John Legend, and will definitely have love for Philly’s Roots crew… but the combination together is right on point, in this socially conscious fuse of soul, hip hop, and gospel. It’s time to Wake Up!

Oscar Grant and 6% of the Population

Overshadowed by the hype of Lebron’s decision to sign with the Miami Heat, was the verdict of a controversial case that took place 18 months ago in Oakland, CA. See here for more info on the case.

At the end of the day, all this reminds me that we have not come too far from slavery.  What are black bodies actually worth in our society? If black men can entertain America while speaking good english, dressed main stream,  and not flashing their wealth in our face, then they seem to be valued.  However, for most of us (black men) our lives seem to still not matter that much in the eyes of our country.

This case is nothing new, it is not the first time an unarmed black man has been shot and killed by police and it will not be the last. The argument is always the same… the police officer always “accidently” shoots and kills us.  The thing I am confused about is how we are the only ones being shot and killed by police accidently, when we are only 6% of the nations population. I didn’t get an A in Statistics Class, but I am sure my math is good enough to know that the numbers and probability don’t add up right.

Black people are not the only people on earth or in human history to not have their bodies and lives valued.  In fact, in the 1st Century thousands and thousands of Jewish men were crucified under the authority and control of the Roman Empire.  In Rome, Jewish lives were desposable. In the second half of the century alone, about 6000 Jews were crucified.

Interestingly enough, we look at the crucifixion of Jesus as a unique death that no one else could bare.  The truth is that the Roman Empire saw Jesus just like they saw all the other thousands of Jews killed during that era… he was just another Jew, and taking his life was no big deal.  I mean, it wasn’t like he was Roman or something right?

America must move beyond the apathy it has towards the lives of black people. Not care about them because they can rap, ball, dance, act, tell a good joke, or speak “good english”, but because we too are created by God and in His image.  And when any of God’s beloved are undervalued, marginalized, or mistreated, we should all be troubled. We ought to rediscover our righteous indignation that disallows our comfort in the midst of others struggles. Whether someone is Black, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Homeless, Homosexual, a drug addict or prostitute we need to care about their lives, bodies, and overall welfare. Apart of our calling (if you are Christian) is to take care of “the least of these” in our society.  That is those who are most vulnerable in our society.  And that includes Oscar Grant and all the others who have been MURDERED while vulnerable and unprotected by the people who have been charged to provide safety and protection to them.

You And Now!

image

This is my last night on my Civil Rights bus tour, and I thought I would leave you all with a John Lewis quote for the night. The picture was taken from the Civil Rights section of the Nashville Public Library downtown.

Albany

image

image

image

image

The movement in Albany was an important one, however it is not talked about much because Dr. King felt he had failed at accomplishing the goals. In the end, it was an opportunity for the people to straighten their backs in the face of southern terrorism, as well as a valuable teachable moment for King which he would soon apply to the Birmingham movement. If you get a chance, read up on the Albany civil rights movement, it too is important history we can learn from. Enjoy the pictures.

ATL – MLK’s Old Stomping Ground

image

image

Understanding what shaped King is important when trying to glean from his legacy. Atlanta is where he grew up as well as where his body now rests.

The house in the picture is the house where to the King family resided, in “Sweet Auburn” a well-to-do black middle class community in Atlanta. And both Martin and Coretta have there final resting place there as well.

The Greensboro Four

image

image

These are the four A & T college students who courageously walked into the Woolworth’s to try to attempt to integrate the counter. Little did they know that after six months of protests, the downtown businesses would actually be integrated. Furthermore, that their courage and movement would spread like wildfire.