Yesterday, I attended the initial performance of a play titled “The Black Man…Complex” held in Columbia, SC, created by Terrance Henderson and presented by Trustus Theatre & Jasper Magazine. The play covered various complexities of the black man, including race, sexual orientation, and spirituality as well as other situations. The audience was taken through an array of emotions including the recent shooting of the unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, MO. In addition it touched on other black men current and past that had an impact on our society. The performances were an insightful way to show that black men are very much multi-dimensional, made me think.
Just like the play indicated humans overall are multi-dimensional. No matter what race, gender, nationality or economic status we are diverse individuals. Judging someone when you first meet them only leads you to re-evaluate them after a while. Pre-judgment of black men will continue to lead to incidents of obvious racial profiling.
Many of the recent tragic incidents that have bonded the African-American community to protest have over time faded out. When the bubbling anger simmers down people return to their regular daily activities; at least until a new tragedy occurs. This is not how the civil rights era was handled. Beginning in the late 1940’s going through the early 1970’s there was a consistent movement toward action. Ideas were formulated and grew into what we saw at the March on Washington and ultimately the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
My ancestors understood the power of the ballot box. They understood that change doesn’t always come in one night or year or decade. Change takes consistent and planned efforts to occur. Many thought that the non-violent movement was pointless; they thought that you should retaliate hate with hate. However an angry mind is not a clear mind it is muddled with illogical emotions. Of course we are human and anger will occur but letting the anger consume reasoning only leads to chaos.
In a future post I will outline the importance and reason why voting is important. But for now remember, the decisions we make in elections put people in place who have the power to set our laws on a local, state, and national level. The issues we face are complex; however, with the right attitude and organizing we will & shall continue to overcome life’s complexities.
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