Archive for Spirit

Family Values

Posted in Commentary, Politics with tags , , , on July 14, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

martin familyThey are not the Huxtables. They are divorced. Yet, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton are a beautiful expression of love, parenting and perseverance.

In the face of a tragedy, untold personal stress and worldwide media attention, they have stood together to fight for justice for their son and millions of young boys that look just like him. So many could have and would have cracked under the pressure of losing their child, let alone an ugly national debate on race, guns and politics but Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton have not.

Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton allowed us all to be students of the American judiciary system, walking with them step by step in a drawn out investigation and trial for the murder of their 17 year old son that often felt like he – the victim – was on trial. Beyond lessons the public have learned, or relearned about race, politics and courtroom drama from the State vs Zimmerman case, we have also been dutifully instructed on other valuable lessons from Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton.

1. After a divorce, both parents can play an active role in the care and upbringing of their child(ren). Even in his death, the solidarity shown by Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton in pursuing peaceful justice for the life of their child that was taken from them provides a blueprint for parents to work together for what is best for their child, always.

2. Black women are not angry. Ms. Fulton has suffered the greatest loss that a woman can have, she has buried a child whose life came from her womb. Under intense media scrutiny in numerous interviews and on the witness stand during the murder the trial for her son, she has not raised her voice nor her fist. Throughout this journey she has maintained dignity and grace.

3. Black men love their sons. Although Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton were divorced, Trayvon Martin had a relationship with both of his parents. A small detail that can’t be overlooked about the night that Trayvon Martin was killed that has nothing to do with the trial or verdict but helps create a backdrop for his story is that he was walking to his father’s house. Trayvon’s father hadn’t divorced his mother and left him forever. Trayvon’s father was still present in his life.

Regardless of the stereotypes and media portrayals of Black fathers, Mr. Martin was a Black man who may not have had his son living with him full time, but was still actively involved in raising his Black son. In the months leading up to the trial against George Zimmerman for killing his son Mr. Martin expressed on numerous occasions his fond sentiments about his baby boy. Moments after Zimmerman was found not guilty he took Twitter to say: ‘Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.’ Black men do love and express that love in a multitude of ways. Mr. Martin proved that fact again.

For years to come the Zimmerman case will be debated, the legacy of Trayvon Martin and what he represents will not be forgotten and hopefully, the lessons of Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton will also not be lost.

Convert

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , , , on February 4, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

WMT-12010_ConvertHmpg_cs2Modify. Transform. Adopt. Convert. All of them are simple words with often complicated implications. In the play The Convert written by Danai Gurira and directed by Michael John Garcés at Wooly Mammoth Theatre the complications are made clear and real.

Set in 1895 amid the colonial scramble for Southern Africa, the play follows Jekesai, a young girl who escapes village life and a forced marriage arrangement, ultimately discovering Christianity under the guidance of an African teacher. However, as anti-colonial sentiments rise to a boiling point, Jekesai must choose between her new European God and the spirits of her ancestors.

The Convert runs February 13 through March 10. In addition to performances, there is a series of discussions and activities to complement the show.

Art as Memorial

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was started in June of 1987 to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS, and to be used as a tool to help the world understand the impact of the disease. More than 20 years later the Quilt remains a reminder of a pandemic that still exists. As Washington, DC hosts the International AIDS Conference, sections of the Quilt are on display on The National Mall and at more than 40 other locations throughout the Washington, D.C. area from July 21-­ 25. Most venues will be open from 10 am to 5 pm during this time.

The Quilt consisting of 48,000 panels has rarely wholly been on display. With the advancement of technology however, a collaboration of researchers and academicians have created a digitized quilt that allows for more accessibility and the ability to search panels by name.

If you are interested in expressing yourself, ONE and (RED) recently launched (2015) Quilt to engage a new generation in fighting the pandemic where anyone can create a panel. Learn more about their campaign for the beginning of the end of AIDS here.

iWish

Posted in Culture with tags , , on April 25, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

Wishes and dreams do come true. Now through June 1, if you are in the Washington area you can share your wish others. The whimsical Natural Wishing by Chrysanne Stathacos enables participants to connect with “wishing actions” from around the world. Join hundreds of others in tying your wish to a tree at the Textile Museum, Hill Center and Sasha Bruce, a non-profit that provides homes for homeless children. People will also be able to call (202) 715- 1737 a number advertised on dozens of buses touring DC to leave or hear wishes. You can also taking a wishing journey around the world here.


Call to Chapel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 30, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Their mantra is simple, “grow deeper in faith and wider in community.” With that being said the historic Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel at Howard University has continued to open its doors for fellowship to the Washington community for years. Chapel service isn’t just for Howard students and alum, like the word of God it is for everyone. Under the leadership of Dr. Bernard Richardson, the Dean of Chapel, Sunday service has seen an increase in attendance. Because of the growth in attendees, services are now held in Cramton Auditorium.

August through May, some of the world’s most respected ministers enlighten with their sermons during the 11:00am service. The recently released schedule of speakers through May 2012 includes Bishop Rudolph W. McKissik, Jr., Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie and Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems. View the complete calendar here.

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