Lesson #247: Movement. (Or, That time I saw Selma)

3/26/15.

Tonight I finally saw Selma.

It never gets easier to see things like this.

Ever.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never cried so many angry, heart-broken tears during a movie in my entire life.

Seeing what black Americans went through in the past to earn us what we have today seems unfair. Not just the mass cruelty that occurred, but the fact that people lost their lives in the pursuit of it all. The fact that they did this for us, for the future of America—but what have we suffered in comparison? People willingly and unwillingly died for what we have today, and yet, we didn’t even know them. We never will.

It rattled me. But the good things always do.

Reading about history on a page and seeing it portrayed in front of you are two very different things.

Keeping in mind that not everything is 100% accurate, the representation of it all—visually—is still a very powerful thing.

What I love about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s story is his persistence.

Most articles and textbooks paint Dr. King as a fearless leader, and no doubt, he was.

But what I loved about this specific portrayal of his life and his works is that it showed multiple sides of Dr. King. Not just his fearless one.

The film demonstrated that Dr. King, too, was scared, just like any of us. He called a friend in the middle of the night in tears, telling her he needed the Lord to speak to him. He marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with hundreds of followers, only to turn around after bowing down. He didn’t always know what to do. He didn’t always know how to act, or react. He was human.

But he was strong. He was articulate, and eager, and passionate, and hopeful. When President Johnson wouldn’t change the law, Martin didn’t stop there. He just knew he had to start elsewhere. (It seems like Dr. King knew all about Lesson #245, hehe.) He was smart. He was strategic. He did what was uncomfortable. He raised hell. He found another way. And he did this all while remaining true to his people, and true to his faith. Fear was real for him; it was there, but it was conquered. And with that, one man changed the world.

Some things are hard to face. I can’t even tell you how many times I wanted to turn away from the screen, and close my eyes. I was scared and saddened, but stirred and inspired.

It’s good to be shaken up every once in a while.

Let things that make you feel, feel.

Movement is what starts it all.

First, within yourself.

Then, with others.

Day 247.

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