By Kenya Cummings
Last night I watched President Barack Obama'sFarwell Address. I watched it with my family. I will be honest, I shed tears. Although, I consider myself a revolutionary and find the office of president like that of an emperor, I cried. I can't begin to surface my feelings to see where they can from. But I will say thatI was glad to be with people in that moment.
As the inauguration approaches, I am making plans for the day. I know I will need community. I want to spend the day resisting. Very early in my planning effort, the Women's March on Washington was shared and suggested time and time again.
I must admit I was on the fence about the Women's March planned on the inauguration. My initial criticism was like Angela Davis of Million Man March. Davis said “I guess what I would criticize today is the tendency to conflate that dramatic moment with a movement.” She shared her thoughts about the march and movement in an interview. I believe we need dramatic moments but we will only see how they play into the movement if we continue to work toward revolution. In regards to the Women’s March I wanted to know what legislation or issues were at the center. After weeks of research, I realized this direct action is magnified that women's rights are human rights. That is a message that needs amplifying. It is a challenge to the incoming administration. It is also a witness to the rest of America that women's rights are human rights and we will continue to fight to see those rights protected.
The march is also engaging dialogue that is ignored or stilted. It is a conversation on race and margins. The initial organizers were criticized for lack of diversity. The current organizers are a diverse group of women. These women are committed to the intersectionality of issues that impact women and all people. People also critiqued the title of the march. I have read many responses from the organizers talking about the intentional naming of the march. I appreciate their perspective and willingness to hear the concerns of people.
As I read over dozen articles and watched videos about the women's march, I noticed an inability to listen for understanding. I am not speaking about the organizers of the march. I am talking about reporters or activists engaging Facebook for dialogue. We have the choice who and how to engage with one another. I can't help thinking we will need one another as we move forward. We will have to have hard conversations. There will be times people must leave the table yet it is my hope we choose to prioritize the care for one another and those living on the margins.
I know this will be a historic moment in our history. I know that gathering is powerful. I know that the way we choose to engage one another will be our way forward. I will be in my home state at a sister march on Inauguration Day ready to listen and join those who march with me. I know our collective wisdom will be our strength as we resist during the next four years.
Kenya is a recent graduate of Methodist Theological School in Ohio with a Master of Divinity degree. She is unapologetically black and unashamedly spiritual. She is a neo-soul loving preacher with a heart and mind for justice. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Science with a minor in African American Studies. She is a church misfit committed to the revival of church and facilitating the connection between church and community. She can be found smiling, recycling, or humming hymns on most sunny days. Please check out Kenya's website: http://www.kenyaceceliarose.com/.