Firestarter Hotsheet: The Matter Of The King Holiday

We are 11 days out of the tradition of 28 Days of Blackness, where we celebrate all things melaninated, unapologetic and righteously Black. I like to think that January, the latter part of the month, dovetails into this portion of cultural excellence.

However, this holiday–because it is a holiday–no matter the opinion of an impeached, White supremacist president may think, feels different. It feels more righteous. It feels revolutionary to hold space for this man, this hero, this year.

With the loss of Congressman Elijah Cummings, the ill health of Congressman John Lewis, it feels right to acknowledge both history and past. It feels right–no, necessary!–to be cognizant that we cannot be complacent on matters of visibility, erasure and systemic/institutional racism.

It needs to be understood the fight is not over. As the gracious and saged spoken word artist Sunni Patterson says: the time for freedom is right now.

It is right now, beloveds. My Torches, my other Firestarters, it is time for your to acknowledge there is a portion of Black history that is gone through the transition of our ancestors, yes. There is also a portion of Black history that is happening right now–living and active. It changes and stretches everyday. This is where we are right now. There is also a portion of Black history–which we will become–to those whom are in a future we can but guess at!

We fight, we live, for them.

In the honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I want you to remember but one thing; this will allow you honor his memory, Black history as a whole and while recognizing one day you will be an ancestor. For good or ill.

You must remember one thing: focus.

Not all fights are winnable, nor should all distractions be acknowledged. Understand you have a right to live in the world, with all rights associated with that right to live in such a world that offers them. These rights are not exclusive to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This include the right to move in the world, holding space in it, because you, too, have something to contribute to it.

Herein lies focus.

For all you put your energy towards, will require focus. Not manipulation, not pride, but focus. This will allow you love neighbors, serve those who need help, and to do keep in mind the motive behind all you do.

Dr. King had a focus.

I implore you to find one. And be relentless until you do.

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