If a picture could speak a thousand words....
If ever a picture could speak a thousand words, then the one above, would be one such a picture. Today on the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a day that will forever live in infamy, in looking at this picture, I am reminded about all the countless sacrifices that were made and lives that were lost all in the name of equality! In looking at this picture, I am also reminded that were it not for those sacrifices, it would have not been possible for this country to even have been at a point where the racial climate, allowed for the election of its first African American president! Just pause and think about that for a moment. Notice the "Smiles" on the faces of many of the elderly marchers, who no doubt, probably were a part of the original marchers some 50 years ago. I can't help but think that the smiles on their faces, represent feelings of a victory in a long fought battle, that has finally led to the day when they can proudly join hands with this country's First (TWO TERM), African American President!
In looking at this picture, I see the courage and strength of a generation, who despite the threat of violence and even death, were willing to push on in the face of fear. In looking at this picture, I am reminded about the severe beating that was inflicted on Congressman John Lewis on that day. Yet today, even after 50 years, he continues to work tirelessly in the name of justice and equality. In looking at this picture, I see the youth and future of tomorrow, joining with the pioneers of yesterday walking towards what might have never been had it not been for the tragedies of the past.
In Dr. Martin Luther King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, which for those of you who don't know, happened to be his last speech before he was assassinated, he talked about seeing the future of the Civil Rights Movement from the top of a mountain where the movement has succeeded through the power of non-violence and love. In my opinion, as a country, we still have not quite achieved making it to the mountain top as referenced by Dr. King, however, if we continue to make LOVE the rule and not the exception, then maybe one day we can all see "The Promised Land."
Photos courtesy of: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/selma-marks-50th-anniversary-of-march-across-the-edmund-pettus-bridge-1425711535-slideshow/president-barack-obama-speaks-near-edmund-pettus-bridge-photo-214356557.html
On this day, that we honor the legacy of a man who stood for peace and for what was right, I am also reminded of all the sacrifices that were made not only by Dr. King, but also by the many men and women of the Civil Rights Movement. People such as, John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Rosa Parks, Ralph D. Abernathy, Diane Nash and Dr. C.T. Vivian, just to name a few. Many of these young men and women made a conscious choice to stand against what was wrong even if it meant risking physical harm or even faced with death. Can you imagine the type of courage that it took? Dr. King is quoted as saying that, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." This resonates with me, as being a very poignant and thought provoking question given the racial climate that we live in today. This is also a question for our everyday lives. I myself, am challenged on a daily basis and how I choose to respond in the face of those challenges, can make all the difference with regards to walking in peace or in constant turmoil.
Evidence of just how this challenge was faced, can be seen played out in real life, during the Civil Rights Movement. Just this past weekend, I had the pleasure of viewing the movie "Selma" that was inspired by and based on the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights, which is known as a pivotal and emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. The three marches that took place, in an effort to gain the right to vote for Black Americans, is a powerful testimony in which the challenges of hatred were met with PEACE! Although, there were moments that were difficult and upsetting to watch, I found the movie to be enlightening as well as educational. I must applaud the writers and the especially the director, Ava DuVernay, for her vision, but more importantly for her courage to present, the sometimes ugly truth about the journey and the struggle, that eventually led to the passing of the Voters Right Act of 1965.
What I also loved about the movie, that it pointed out the human side of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his personal and emotional struggles. What do I mean? Well, I am not disputing the fact, that Dr. King is one of the greatest moral leaders of our time, however, we often times forget that he was a man with the same imperfections that we all struggle with from time to time. He was a man that wanted to do God's will but needed God's help to do it. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of emotional and personal struggles that he and his family had to endure, all in the name of justice and freedom.
This movie also educated us, about some of the other key players or unsung heroes in the struggle, that were instrumental in bringing about change along side of Dr. King. It solidified in my mind, that had it not been for many of these men and women of courage, and their willingness to stand side by side with Dr. King, many of the rights and freedoms that we have come to often take for granted today, would not have come to pass. One of those individuals, portrayed in the movie, is Civil Rights Living Legend, Dr. C.T. Vivian. In early 2013, my partners and I, had the distinct honor and pleasure of meeting and interviewing Dr. Vivian in his Atlanta home. It is a moment that I will not forget! I can not begin to tell you how profound and sharp (not to mention handsome) he is! His spirit exudes a type of peace that can't be explained in words. I did my best to soak up the knowledge and wisdom that he shared with me during the interview. So just imagine how humbled I felt, when Dr. Vivian complimented me on the creation of "There is Life After Layoff" and the fact that it is a much needed forum! All glory goes to God, which is what I shared with Dr. Vivian, for trusting me with the vision. Nonetheless, Dr. Vivian's kind words of encouragement also gave me an extra boost of confidence in knowing that I too have a responsibility. That responsibility is to choose to live a life of "Peace" even in the face of adversity and challenge while fulfilling my destiny by inspiring others to discover and walk in their purpose!
Thank you for your sacrifices!
If you missed the live broadcast on Feb. 26th of our candid ”Fireside Chat” with Civil Rights Living Legend, Dr. C.T. Vivian, you can still listen to the recorded podcast through Atlanta Life Radio at www.atlantaliferadio.com . In celebration of Black History Month during the month of February, Minister Dr. Regina Ward and I were honored with the opportunity to sit down and talk with this great man of God and Civil Rights icon to partake of his wisdom and knowledge.
Congratulations to Dr. Vivian for being a 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom!
As we remember and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. every January, I thought it only befitting that I honor him and his legacy of PEACE with my personal search for peace in my life. My pursuit started when some years ago, I realized that I was really tired of being “sick and tired!” Sick and tired of all the drama and stress that had become a normal part of my everyday life. I came to this realization only because I finally took the time to take a good long look at myself and my relationships which included both those at home and at work and I didn’t like what I saw. It was at that point that I made a conscious decision to start diligently seeking to have peace in my life and in the midst of my relationships. But how do I do that? I started referring back to the many lessons learned through all of the ministries that I have been privileged to be a part of over the years since I started seeking a personal relationship with God. And one common thread that connects all of them is the fact that I can find the solution to how to handle the issues in my life if I just rely on God’s word and to also be willing to accept responsibility and face the truth about my disobedience to it. Once I
started reading and studying His word, I realized that most of us (including me at the time), don’t know that we have actually already been given peace. “What,” you say! Yes, it’s true. The problem is that we don’t know how to apply it in
our lives. Ok, so now I realized that I had to re-think how I was praying. Instead of repeatedly asking God to give me peace (something that I already have), I had to start asking Him to help me with being able to maintain peace when I am faced with challenges and met with opposition.
Wife and mother of two, pursuing my life purpose after getting laid off! Read more on my About Me page.
Disclosure: The above ad is an affiliate link upon which we are compensated for referrals.