Motivational Monday: Marching on Washington

The only bad thing about my recent trip to Brazil was the timing.  While my family and I were there, Americans were marking the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  I wasn’t at the first March in 1963 because I wasn’t born yet.  So, I hoped to be at this one with friends from my Unitarian Universalist congregation in Montclair and from Coming to the Table, an organization that brings together the descendants of slaves and slave owners in order to heal the historic harms of slavery. These are two groups near and dear to my heart that inspire me.

Coming to the Table was inspired by the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his historic March on Washington speech that one day “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” On August 28th, the same day the march happened in 1963 and 50 years later, an essay that I wrote came out in MOREmagazine. My essay is about the relationship with my “linked descendants,”  the people whose ancestors once owned my great, great-grandmother, Tempy Burton. So, I guess in a way, even though my body was in Brazil, a part of me did make it to the march. And somehow, while I did not orchestrate it, my UU friends met my Coming to the Table friends and marched together.  That’s some serious synchronicity.

My friends, Phoebe Kilby, from Coming to the Table, and Emilia Colon from the Undoing Racism Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair.  They were together at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington that took place last week.

My friends, Phoebe Kilby, from Coming to the Table, and Emilia Colon from the Undoing Racism Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair. They were together at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington that took place last week.

 

 

 

 

Me and my essay in the September issue of MORE magazine on news stands now! (Photo courtesy of Greer Burroughs)

Me and my essay in the September issue of MORE magazine on news stands now! (Photo courtesy of Greer Burroughs)

 

 

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One thought on “Motivational Monday: Marching on Washington

  1. greetings Mrs. Ford! i just read your fine article in More magazine. it seemed important to tell you that i cried through most of it. i’m a 56 year old white woman in Texas. we live in a town fighting desperately to heal the deep racial scars of our past here. i’ve been a chaplain 15 years and the most important work of it has been the wonderful black men and women that i have had the immeasureable pleasure to become friends and brothers and sisters in Christ with! we often talk about these issues that you so beautifully revealed in your article. thank you so much for your honesty and openness in your personal journey and struggle. so i write to encourage you to please share more with us! what you are saying is very, very important for us to hear. also i write to tell you that just today i came upon the most elegant and heartbreaking pair of photographs in one of my text books. it affected me so deeply that i wrote my quiz essay on them. they are by Carrie Mae Weems and are from her collection called, ‘From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried’. the two photographs are red and show a beautiful black woman from the waist up- nude. i cried and cried the moment i turned to it. her eyes are haunting and so convicting. anyway, then i read your article a few hours later and had the same reaction. that is why i am writing to you to tell you that slavery and the results from it in people’s lives breaks my heart as well. i feel shameful and torn to the core over being part of a race that could do such a heinous thing to other people. i pray that one day you can find it in your heart to somehow forgive those of us that feel so very sorry for it. may the Lord bless you with His peace.

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