Yesterday, I went to Raleigh for a Moral Monday led by young people. The experience I had was quite different than I thought it would be. The beginning of this rally was held in a church. There were caskets at the front to remember the little girls who were killed in the bombing of an Alabama church 50 years ago. This meant a lot to me, as I just finished working on a short film about race and justice. You can watch it here:
All the young people there got up in the front as the rally started and we were holding pictures of the girls. Several young people spoke. They spoke about taking action on voting rights and education. They talked about how they planned to take action to stand up for the rights of other young people. We sang and there was a prayer. Then it was time to march. People carried the caskets and we marched down Wilmington Street and circled around the Governor's mansion. Some people seem a little confused about why we did this. The death of those four little girls was because of a division so deep and so grotesque it led someone to commit violence. We marched with those caskets because we, the young people, don't want to live in a world where that level of division exists.
Then we got to the lawn there at the legislative building, the spot where many of us had gathered before at Moral Monday. As usual, instead of being in the large crowd, I found a quieter place to sit and watch. I talked to a few people I've gotten to know online and it was really nice to finally meet them in person. A very nice man walked up with his little boy, and he said he wanted his son to meet me because I was an inspiration. The little boy's name is Dantz and he is an 8 year old future leader. Dantz said he thought I was tall. I'm not tall, even for my age. I'm used to everyone towering over me. But here was this kid, looking up to me.
Reverend Barber spoke at the rally. He talked to us, the young people, about how important we are. He encouraged us to get involved. He talked about how it's important to work on bipartisan solutions to problems. He talked about how it's important not to fight with people and instead try to bring people together.
I've heard older people who participated in the civil rights movement talk about marching with Martin Luther King. When I grow up, I'm going to talk about how I marched with Reverend William Barber.