Okay yeah, I caved! I went to a luncheon today at Loyola University, where I am currently attending grad school, to hear a talk by activist Angela Davis in commemoration of MLK Jr’s birthday entitled “Where do we go from here?”
Where, indeed. Considering everything that has happened in the last few days, and my own opinion of it, I went to the talk wondering just what exactly Ms. Davis would say. The first part of her talk centered around putting the recent events in their historical context. I think that many young people today only have a glimmer of an understanding of the history of the Freedom Movements in the United States and how far we have come from slavery. A Black man being president could not have been imagined in the days of our parents’ or their parents’ youth. For all my cynicism and skepticism, we are living in a historic time and place. This is what Angela Davis reminded me of today: that what you set out to do, isn’t necessarily what you accomplish. But we also shouldn’t reject what has happened just because it wasn’t what we wanted or looked for.
There wasn’t a movement to put a Black man in office, but it happened. This is a sign of progress. However, we have not even begun to change the world. There is still much work to be done and there are still people willing to do it. And perhaps if President Obama can do even a fifth of what he said that he’d do, then I, too, can do my part to help create the world that I want.
Thank you, Angela Davis, for helping me put things in perspective and for reminding me that the fight is most certainly not over. I just hope that the others in the room heard her, too.