Dear Friends and Readers,
We are a nation in need of a transformation. Three years ago, I went to hear Marianne Williamson speak. The topic of race and racism arose and here’s what Marianne Williamson did:
She had all the white people in the audience stand up and apologize as a group to every black person in the audience. Each white person apologized for their ancestors who enslaved the ancestors of any black person alive. Then the black people in the group had an opportunity to accept the apology. Every black and white person participated. Then if audience members of either race chose to they could personally extend an apology or accept an apology from members of the audience sitting near them.
It was a tear filled moment that I will never forget. I was pleased to see across my face book feed that a similar occurrence took place in Dallas over this weekend. During a “Black Lives Matter” protest a counter protest across the street was forming. A member from each of these groups met in the middle and shook hands. What happened next was not only moving but hopeful. Across the lines members from the opposite groups began hugging each other. It was a beautiful moment.
I was glad that the weekend after ten police were shot in Dallas that America did not erupt in race riots like those that occurred in the late 1960’s after the assassination of Martin Luther King. I was 12 years old and living in Washington D.C. when those riots occurred. It was a scary thing for a pre-teen who did not understand why people were burning the businesses in the communities where they lived. I understand now.
This weekend I happened to be in Chicago and went to see the Gordon Parks exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. The photos in the Parks exhibit were taken in 1936 and showed the run-down conditions in Harlem, New York which was at the time the largest community of African Americans in the country. The pictures showed the wide spread poverty and deplorable conditions in which many in Harlem lived during the middle of the Great Depression of 1929 which lasted ten years.
The exhibit also featured writings of writer Ralph Ellison who wrote and published “The Invisible Man”. I have never read Ellison’s book, but I intend to do so and to also read Ta nehisi Coates’ book “Between the World and Me”. From what I understand both books portray the struggle of the black man in a white dominated America. However, without reading either book, it was clear to me from the pictures in the Parks exhibit and the words of Ellison, the struggle continues in the same areas since the time of emancipation.
I was disquieted by the Parks exhibit as I was with the shooting of ten police officers in Dallas. Murder is never an answer. This fall we have an opportunity to express with our votes in local and national elections for the America of the future. I hope that either our current president or our in-coming President will make a public apology for slavery. I think it will be a start to begin healing the wound in this country which continues to fester.
Let there be Peace and let it begin with Me.
Brianna S. Clark,
The Addict Writes