"You may write me down in history. With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise." - Maya Angelou To say that I am tired of seeing unarmed Black people abused by public servants would be the biggest understatement of 2015. There are ways I could avoid seeing the impressive number of bodies laid at the feet of White supremacist ideology, but that would only play into the hands of the perpetrators of violence. So I voluntarily choose to stay as informed as I can. I learn what I can, and I march when I can.
Marching is sacramental. It is sacred. It is holy. It is a gift from God to minority groups that need to have their voices heard. From the children of Israel marching from Egypt to the Land of Promise, to David marching to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant, to Jesus marching into Jerusalem, to the March on Washington, the March on Selma, even the religious communities that march in Pride parades. Religious communities have long used marching as ways to make their voices heard and to make political statements. This movement of human bodies speaks to people in power and builds a sense of community within said groups. It strengthens resolve and builds spirits - it gives direction. Marching is sacred, it is holy, it is a gift from God.
Sandra Bland, a woman who was moving to Texas to start a new job, also believed in the power of uniting communities. She knew her rights, she knew her purpose and she knew her worth; now she is gone. Naturally, as it has responded to the deaths of other innocent unarmed – the Black community took the streets. The activist community in Austin started our silent march at the Victory Grill in Austin; we crossed over I-35 and moved down to 6th Street. 6th Street was living into its reputation of loud drunken partying and debauchery, and here we came with signs and silence reminding people while they drank and partied, a mother was preparing to bury her adult child another victim of White supremacy. People stopped to take out their phones and snap pictures and gawk, some to cuss us out for causing a traffic jam. But we marched on, turned right on Congress and walked right up the steps of the Texas Capitol.
There were some speeches given and some chants and clapping but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the community came out to remember another person slain in the fight for justice for all. What matters most is that people of all backgrounds and shades came out in force to show that no matter how many of us get stomped out, like dust we will continue to rise.