WHAT IS YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS...?
What is your contribution toward this massive thing called, "The Struggle?" These movements of ours, what part do you play? I thought about this question this morning after watching a video clip of a monologue from the TV show 'Scandal.' The monologue is that of actress, Khandi Alexander who plays "Moma Pope,' the mom of Olivia Pope.
In the clip, Alexander brilliantly and poignantly articulates the burden and struggle of all black women - albeit in her own sinister way. The nearly two minute clip got me thinking about the show's Producer and Director, Shonda Rhimes. I also thought about the brilliant, Ava Duvernay and the host of other African American movie, television and stage play directors, producers and writers.
I got to thinking about the role each of these famous and not so famous people are playing in this thing called, "the Struggle." You see, we might not see them protesting on the streets or leading a march. We may not see them holding up placards or standing unmoved in front of a police officer during a demonstration. No, their contribution and I dare say, protest is of a different kind. It's a more subtlety brilliant protest that requires you to mull, ponder and think.
You see, they've stormed the board rooms of television networks and forced America to see and hear our struggle in a more profound and visceral way. I mean, what better way to grab your attention than to force you to swallow the despair and pain of our struggle when you're in front of your television or sitting in a theater? Rhimes and Duvernay's Directorial and writing skills is just as, if not more effective than any other strategy we employ to highlight our struggle.
Their Civil Rights is the brilliance they bring to television and to the big screen. Part of my Civil Rights now is what I try to do on radio with my Public Affairs show - giving folks a platform to voice their concerns, tout their efforts and share their talents. And as everyone knows, when I address an issue, my passion and articulation will pierce through the cursory and shallow thinking of anyone that dares to rival me in debate.
In the past, I thought Civil Rights contributions were limited to marching and protesting in the streets. Something I've done for many years during what I call my activist years.
But what Rhimes, Duvernay and countless others have demonstrated, our approach to the issues that beleaguer our community is not one dimensional, monolithic or singular, it requires a multifaceted approach - hitting the issues from varying angles with a velocity that our oppressors will never see coming.
So, what is your Civil Rights? What is your contribution to this massive thing called, "The Struggle?"