When the Old Lions roar
Rev. Taylor (r) at the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington holding Bullhorn Megaphone.
By Natasha Dowdy Gordon
As those who participated in the March On Washington marched down the street singing songs of the Civil Rights era, and chanting motivational chants, there was a feeling of accomplishment that was apparent among the hundreds of thousands of people that had assembled there at the Nation’s Capital.
At one point the words of the song Amen rang through the air, and from that came a reminder that the actual war, which Blacks and other minorities have been fighting since they arrived in this land we call the United States of America is not over.
For those who are under some sort of a spell, and have come to the conclusion that we have all somehow overcome, you should open your eyes and look at how the right to vote is being suppressed in North Carolina.
Now those in North Carolina have passed what is the most restrictive voter suppression laws in the United States of America want to convince Americans that there is nothing wrong with anyone having to show identification when they vote, and they are absolutely right about that.
Showing an I.D. makes a whole lot of sense, but that is not what the people of the state of North Carolina are fighting, they are however, standing up and taking to the streets because the law passed has a provision that allows for the closing of the polls no matter how long the line is, and how long people have been waiting to vote.
In other words, poll workers in North Carolina are now able to decide who can vote, and how many of those folks can vote.
There are some new leaders that are beginning to step up and take the reins in the fight for justice and equality, but they need to be reminded to listen to the voices of the old lions, who were there from the beginning of it all.
In my interview with Dr. John Hope Franklin, who was the historian in the Brown vs. the Board of Education case, and Duke University professor, in 1996 right after all of the church bombings, he warned then that if BLACKS and other minorities were not careful, that the progress that we had made would be rolled back, and today, his words ring true.
Dr. Franklin is gone, but there are still a few voices of the Civil Rights Movement that still remain.
The voices of Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, Lula Williams, and the Rev. Fred Taylor still roar, and they will continue to do so, as they are in no ways tired.
One of those voices in particular, Rev. Fred Taylor, who once served as the director of the affiliates of the Southern Cristian Leadership Conference, proved just that as he grabbed a megaphone to chant and to sing to motivate a crowed that was walking to the start of the March On Washington.
Rev. Taylor and the others are not going to be around for-ever, so whatever wisdom they have to share, it is incumbent upon us all to absorb as much of it as possible, so together we can truly live in a country that recognizes liberty and justice for all.