Friend, I blinked and it was mid-MARCH! As the saying goes “time flies…” but I must say, what I’ve been working on as of late, has been much more than “fun”.
Our “March Fourth” pilgrimage was gut-wrenching for some and an immersively transformational experience for others.
Looking back, all I can say is that it was a March to remember.
It was our modern-day version of “Get on The Bus” (pardon the language, but this is life).
We gathered on a bus, a diverse collection of races, ethnicities, faiths, ages and agnostics with one mission: deliver the soil of Robert Johnson.
We rode in cars after a long-day’s work, joined by our friends and families with one idea in mind: deliver the soil of Robert Johnson.
There were at least four generations of Zennials, Millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby-Boomers and one inquisitive Post-war-papa, who understood our assignment: deliver the soil of Robert Johnson.
So we fulfilled our mission, our assignment, Bryan Stevenson’s “True Justice” call-to-action: acknowledge the racial terrorism that has occurred in our city and face the legacy of our past.
We delivered the soil–and then we walked into The Legacy Museum.
Friend…no one was ready.
We shared a much needed meal and mental break after the museum–many of us could not and did not finish the exhibit. The trauma was too much to bear.
And then we bussed to The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
This museum & memorial experience was curated very well.
The experience was much more than one could ever imagine.
And after a very long day, about 20 of us got back on the bus for the hour-long journey to Selma. We rode in much needed silence.
Many of the festivities of the Selma Jubilee were dying down upon our arrival. I my mind, we were here for “the bridge”.
Then I heard music from the street fest. So I ran–err, walked very briskly– and then ahem, DANCED my way to the stage.There was a cover-band singing a couple more inspirational hits to which my dear friend Jorge and I danced as hard as our 40-something knees could bear.
Then I saw my friend missional Vicki, and my activist friend Donna, and her family and my historian friend Fred. We all celebrated the moment.
It was the much needed ray of sunshine (and hope) we needed after such a heart-wrenching day of remembrance and the connection to our present challenge of mass-incarceration.
We felt EVERY WORD.
My dad, who also joined the trip with his grandson (yes, my brilliant 12-year-old nephew) was worn out.
Like many others who toured with us that day, he did not get to experience that joy, just over the bridge. He sat on the bus in Selma and absorbed the day he had experienced.
For my dad, a child of the 60’s, segregation and all that came and has come with it, it was a heavy day.
On our journey back to Tampa, our group had only one question in mind: when do we deliver the next jar of soil?
So next year, in 2023 we’ll deliver another jar, ensure that everyone experiences the joy of jubilee and “march on, ’til victory is won”.
Chalette M. Davis
Events & Missions
O: 813.222.2299 | M: 813.951.6974
1001 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602
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P.S. Experience more joy with me this Fourth Friday, March 25 when Art + Open Mic returns to The Portico Cafe. See below for more info.