Greetings and Good Morning Everyone!
Happy Monday! I hope all is well, and that you're off to an amazing start. ☀️😃
Last week, I stated that I would be revisiting and sharing my previously written articles with INCOLOR Magazine. However, I hope that you will forgive me for deciding to use this week's blog post to honor two giants and amazing men in American History. I think that it will be appropriate to return to sharing my articles with you next week. This week, I have to follow my heart. We unfortunately, lost two of the greatest leaders amongst us. The fight against racial injustice will never be the same, but thank goodness they left a blueprint for us all to follow. In our own way, it is our duty to make sure that their work was not in vain, and continue to do the hard work to see their vision for a better world realized.
As I take a moment to remember two Civil Rights giants, Representative John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian. I have to be honest, and I'm ashamed to say this, but I did not learn about Rev. C.T. Vivian's activism until he'd passed. I feel there are so many heroes that I did not learn about in school. Of course, we all know, there were leaders in the Civil Rights Movement that were just as important as Dr. Martin Luther King, but what's unfortunate is that we don't always learn about them, and for me, I feel that I have to be intentional so that I can. There were leaders whose impact changed history, but sometimes, I feel like the American educational system failed me in so many ways. However, I cannot completely blame my broken education for my ignorance, but I do know Rev. C.T. Vivian is a name that I should have learned about when we discussed the Civil Rights Movement growing up. Now, the responsibility is on me to share his life and legacy with my son and others. It's important that I do my homework now, to learn about the unsung heroes, and the folks that we don't typically hear about. I have to seek them out and learn their stories and tell them, and know them in my heart, so that when they leave this earth, I don't feel caught off guard. It is worth noting that Rev. C.T. Vivian received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama in 2013.
As for Rep. John Lewis, to read all over again of his work as one of the original 13 Freedom Riders, I was again blown away. It takes a different "breed" of individual to make the sacrifices that these men made. Of course, I knew of John Lewis' legacy and Civil Rights work, and the indelible mark he's left on American History. But, I was reminded he was a fearless leader and we all could learn from his legacy. I recall in October 2019, when Rep. Elijah Cummings passed away, thinking, God, please do not let John Lewis be next, and 9 months to the day, it was so. Now, I'm just thankful to have lived during his lifetime. To bear witness to the type of leader he was because, he was such an inspiration. Even through his work in the House of Representatives, he still fought for us all until his dying day. He brought that courageous, outspoken, fearlessness with him to Congress, and I was always so proud to know that he was there doing good, and honorable work. I knew with people like him in Congress, I could always sleep well knowing that someone was fighting on the behalf of the American people that was trustworthy, honest, intelligent, and an overseer of goodwill and calling out the unjust. I must do my best to ensure that we keep members like him in Congress that honors the interest of the American people and protects the pillars of our democracy. Anyone that doesn't believe voting is important completely insults the life's work and efforts of these men. I will never squander my right to vote because, so much was sacrificed for me to have it. So much was given for me to live the life that I live. It is because of the sacrifices of both men and many others that eventually Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. It is also worth noting, "Lewis served in the U.S. Congress since 1986 representing Georgia. In 2010, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor for lifetime achievement. John Lewis receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2010."
Both men endured so much to bring about change in a society that despised them. They used non-violent civil disobedience tactics to protest racial segregation. I'm not sure how I could every repay them, but I know it's worth a try. The men are the epitome of "M.A.I."! They lived their lives to "M.OTIVATE | A.SPIRE | I.NSPIRE others, and I hope to do the same. Thank you Representative John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian for your commitment and service, for your life's work and for leaving your hand and footprints in the sand for us to follow. May God open the heavenly gates and his open arms to welcome you both home. Job well done!
Thank you for reading my blog this morning. Hey, do me a favor, if you like or love this post, comment on it. I’d love to hear your feedback. Also, please feel free to share it with your family and friends in the social media universe. I greatly appreciate the support.