For me, and perhaps for you other Americans as well, this July 4th has been very different from all the others. I miss being able to travel from “sea to shining shore” to see fireworks, to have BBQ’s that include more family and friends. I miss the president whose mission was to unite us instead of divide us. Tonight before bed, I will watch Hamilton then clothe myself in strength and wake with the determination that America will secure for us a better tomorrow.
There has to be a loophole
for us who still believe
in justice, freedom and our rights
This gap won’t last much longer
for together we’ll encroach
to fill the sinkhole with the hearts
we’ll never let them poach.
Hands united, standing tall
we’ll show a greater strength
than those who are unwilling
to detect our common link.
Photo one credit
Photo two credit
Tomorrow, you have a choice. The far-right has scheduled another rally. Some may be your citizens, some may come from other places.
Some of you will oppose the rally.
Yes, the far-right has a right to speak. Perhaps, if you are like me, you will continue to “fight” for justice and equality for all people. But please “fight” with words.
Regardless of your “side”, I know how tense passions are – how they can escalate to the rise in blood pressure, to teeth grinding, to clenched fists. But please, put down your shields, your torches, your tear gas. In fact, don’t bring them at all.
And to my NON Alt-right friends: As difficult as it may be, perhaps you can stand back and listen. Then, maybe we will discover why the alt-right is so afraid of differences and what led them to that fear.
After Isaac puts the Pontiac in neutral and maneuvers it out on the driveway, he asks me to hand him a screwdriver. He tightens some do-ma-hickey then replaces the battery with the one he picked up at the local auto part’s store.
“You sure know a lot about a lot of things, Isaac Ford,” I tell him. “And don’t dare say anything stupid like, ‘so you think I’m smarter than the average colored boy.’”
“I read a lot. And my mama teaches at my school. The Academy for Black Youth in case you’re wondering.”
“We don’t have any Negros in my school. Not because they can’t come but because most of them live across town.”
“Separate but Equal,” he says, shaking his head.
I think of my summer reading assignment — A Separate Peace.
“Thing is, Chicken Coop. I want to make something of myself. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how. I can’t play music, I don’t want to be a preacher—”
“Then do something else. Be a mechanic. Be a teacher. Be whatever you want.”
“Okay. I’ll be a surgeon. After they let me in a university because of my a-Maze-ing chemistry and biology grades, I graduate. Then, I look for a job that will hire a colored surgeon. And, if I’m lucky enough to land that job, white folks will say, ‘I don’t want some colored boy operating on me.’ Then, I’m back where I started. Without a job.”
“You’re so cynical, Isaac.”
“Cynical?” He points a finger at my chest. “You know nothing. Nothing! What do I have to be cheery-faced about? Huh? That I can fix a goddam car? Tell Olvie it’s ready. She can drive it in the garage her own damn self. I’m going home.”
From my WIP about forging friendships during the Civil Rights Movement (1963)
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Unfortunately, due to traveling, I was unable to be part of this glory. I am so proud of my city’s turnout, including my daughter and granddaughter. Over 50,000 showed up and made their voices heard.It makes my heart swell! A Successful march, indeed!
I am also proud of the one million-plus who showed their support from around the world. Thank you!
And, no, Mr. Trump, I have no need, nor a desire to purchase your coin. Please stop sending me your emails. I’d rather have LOVE instead.