Monday, May 01, 2006

Weekend With Thomas And Darfur

This is the end of a great weekend hanging out with my younger brother, Thomas. We started on Thursday night and went full speed ahead until Sunday morning! Well, there was a break on Friday night. We stayed at home so that he can spend some time with the rest of the family. On Saturday we mostly played around the U St. corridor and 14th St. We hit the Mocha Hut and Cafe Nema. Our cousin, G Bess lives close by so we hung out a little at his place indulging in music and a few drinks. Overall, it was a great weekend. I haven't run that hard in a long time. Thanks bro, I had a great time! I love you man!

I dropped Thomas off at the airport around 8 am, went home and decided that I was going to attend the Save Darfur rally on the National Mall. It was really inspiring. For me, the highlight of the day is when a small group of Africans (They seem to be from the Darfur Region?) led a rallying chant through the crowd. I smiled and cheered them on wishing that I could join in. I didn't know what they were chanting because it was in their tongue. However, I was surprised at the reaction of the other supporters attending the rally (mostly Jewish). They became quiet during the chants as they glanced around at each other standing in the vicinity.

My thoughts on that moment:
Sometimes I think that blacks chanting in defiance can make some people really nervous. We're often viewed as militant when our voices are lifted in protest to something. This is why most of America preferred Martin Luther King, Jr.'s method of singing and quiet protest. Although effective, it didn't make the rest of America too too nervous. Oh, they were nervous, but they were absolutely frantic when it came to other groups that took a more heated approach in the fight for change.

Otherwise, I was happy to see the support no matter the color. I am convinced that most of the black community at large didn't know about the rally until they saw the evening news. There were posters up around town, but not many (if any) on the southside of town where most of the disenfranchised reside. Perhaps most would've still chosen to stay home, but I'm certain that some would have attended if they had knowledge of it. As for the rest of the community, churches should have adjusted their morning schedule and colleges should have showed up in astounding numbers. There were some black and brown faces at the rally, but the African/Africa American/Caribbean community should have showed more support. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as so different from our brothers and sisters in Sudan! If we would just take the time to look at the big picture we would find that we share in the same struggle.

We just chant in different tongues.

UPDATE: The refreshing thing about all of this is that the Reverend Gloria White Hammond, MD, an African American woman and Chairwoman of Million Voices is doing all that she can to get the word out about Darfur. She will be here in Washington D.C. this week. Click her name and learn more about this remarkable woman and her mission.

("...What we need is awareness, we can't get careless" --Public Enemy)
Click on the title of this post to find out how you can help. You can help even if you just buy a $10 tee shirt. It's worth it. Peace~

I'll post a few pictures of the rally when I get a moment.
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