As I watched the hundreds of thousands who participated in the 2018 MLK March, I was amazed at the signs and what was said and who was saying it. If you truly appreciate the life and legacy of Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., you have to appreciate the new groups that have been added to the line-up of protesters. The sign that really made me scratch my head was "Millennials Matter" a spin-off of Black Lives Matter. I also saw three white men hold up their sign stating "Abortion: Evil tool of Black Genocide". I happen to agree -- even as we look at the millions of dollars used in the Promise Zone, a huge allocation was given to birth control agencies. This is another topic to explore (but the Pews Research group does confirm Black families are not having children at the same rate).
I did notice with the exception of the Black Lives Matter participants, WE (Black People) don't make and carry signs. Let us be reminded of this historic picture, when we proclaimed our Manhood. What is our message today?
Second observation, White people do care about the future of Black folks in America. The majority of sign carriers I witnessed were whites with very provocative messages. I love the little White girls holding up their sign: "Build Kindness Not Walls". IF I could speak Spanish, another sign that was probably off the chain, was a picture of a man holding his sign with the likeness of the US President with the word: "Pendejo" You can look it up on Babel.
My third observation reflects the heart of the March and that is where are the lines of pastors that stood arm and arm in every city during the Civil Rights movement? What happened to the songs of "We will overcome" and chants that declared our purpose?
San Antonio's march does show the symbolic nature of change. Pictures do say a thousand words. Our Marchers are a microcosm of America.
Please see my pictures online to see what were the best signs -- there were no signs that I saw that were bad.
In fact, looking at what people were wearing was cool. I captured an older white men with the Black Lives Matter shirt on, or another carrying his response to the Sh**Hole comment of President Trump describing Africa, made my heart feel a little better.
Black America, the largest march in the nation, and the world, is in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio, the nation's seventh largest city is a live litmus test of where we are as a nation. The diversity of Black, White, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asians - coupled with other diversities of Millennials, Gay, Straight, Tech Geeks, Tall, Short is outstanding BUT the lack of pulling our Black history back into the march is something I would hope we can improve upon. The comment I heard was the pastors aren't leading the march -- today our politicians have seized the stage.
CLICK THROUGH THE MLK MARCH 2018 PHOTO GALLERY BELOW
The solutions I would offer, Black Pastors unite with an agenda that can be heard to improve our community; secondly encourage activism by having contest in your churches to build community projects and signs echoing your purpose and create the messages of Love; third engage with non-Black churches to see what are they willing to do to "Live the Dream" together, and last find a community project that money can be pooled together to uplift the community. This paper showcased the work of USAA to leave a lasting imprint on the MLK Park. Also the Publisher's commentary of Mr. Otis Thompson can't be missed. I would add, we all have a responsibility to nominate deserving people - we can't assume the deserving people have advocates. In Dr. King's Poor People Campaign, he lifted people who never were in the spotlight.
So we too can change the marching philosophy from just marching to creating the change that we want to see on our worst streets in our baddest communities. If Dr. King was a man of Hope, then let's build Hope in the darkest places where Hope can bring Light!