Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A History Lesson

Tonight I went to Tabla Rasa Gallery with Greg and Janet for a few purposes. One was that Audrey and Joseph Anastasi asked them to contribute some works to a new small show, to introduce me to them, and finally to view the documentary "RFK In The Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope".

First, this is shot beautifully, the music is lovely, and a nicely told piece of history. It is a piece of history I had no idea of; growing up JFK was revered, King was honored above most, but RFK? I knew he was assassinated. After viewing this I want to know more. But even more than that I want to know why I have never heard of Chief Albert Lutuli who was the first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960. Okay, I realize I have never spent a lot of time studying South Africa but why is Mandela held up, outside of SA as the only mover and shaker there? According to Tami Gold, Lutuli is held as a hero not just of South Africa but the whole continent.

I am not going to be lucid on this topic because my mind is racing a bit from the images, the voices, and the emotions the film raised in me.

From Day of Affirmation Speech, delivered at Cape Town University, June 6, 1966:
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

In many ways this is how I see the world which is why I think of even small acts, words as important. Recently I was thinking about this while doing an assignment for my Certificate Program in Victim Advocacy; it included a selection of examples where racism and other prejudice were being displayed. My answers never included silence even when it could have cause major problems. In reality I have sometimes been silent when safety is an issue, or am just at a loss. I don't want that to be continue to be the case. I will continue to say something every time, because I believe in the power of a ripple.

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