What is the Plan in Your Community?

 

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Want to change social and economic injustices?  Then you need a plan of action.

Shaun King’s commentary  for Black America Web this morning emphasizes how a “blind loyalty” gets people nowhere.  However, a plan of action gets you results. In case you missed this less than 10 minute audio, here is the link for you to listen, share, and move to action:

Shaun King Talks Policy Ideas

Harriett Tubman, Booker T. Washington, and President Barack Obama were successful because they all had a plan of action!!  Likewise,  Adolph Hitler, the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party also had a plan of action!  With technological advances AND boots on the ground, you can plan, educate, empower and implement a customized plan of action with best practices, for the Top 5-10 (depending on manpower/volunteers) issues that cause Blacks, Browns, Native Americans, the working poor, functionally disabled, mentally challenged and other citizens who simply want equity. This can be done in each community across the country.

Harriett Tubman, the Pullman Porters, residents of Black Wallstreet (in Tulsa), Muhammad Ali, Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Shirley Chisholm, Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Maynard Jackson, Colin Kaepernick, Oprah Winfrey, The Freedom Riders, and the Native American Code Talkers (to name a few) did not wait for a leader to emerge.  They knew Superman was not coming.  They all stepped up to do what they could to make a difference. So can you!!  Each of us can use our skills and talents to help a current organization, or start your own.  No cause is too small.  Jesus also had a plan. And, He trained twelve.

You do not have to be a rocket scientist, have a degree, or a title. If you can figure out how to go on vacation and navigate in a city or country that you have never visited, surely you can figure out how to make a difference in your neighborhood, church, or non-profit.  Or, start your own group.

As my dearly departed Godmother, Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow use to say, “If you are not at the table when plans are made, you are on the menu.”

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Above: Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow (Dec. 7, 1924 – March 12, 2015).

It is time to stop talking about how bad things are. It is time to do something about it!! It is time to stop saying, “they ought to” or “the church ought to”.  Who are they?  Who is the the Church?  When is the last time you volunteered or worked on a community service project (in person or online)?

Gandhi famously said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.“

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

 

Dick Gregory, Activist & Comedian Will Be Missed

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The first Black comedian to perform before a white audience, Dick Gregory died yesterday at age 84.  Born Richard Claxton Gregory on October 12, 1932, he was an activist, comedian, cancer survivor, one of eleven children, husband, father and grandfather; Gregory was an extraordinary man and humanitarian.  I had the pleasure of meeting him as he was a dear friend of my godmother, the late Rev. Willie T. Barrow. He was humble and down-to-earth.  I am a better person because he was never too busy to talk to anyone who needed his help. I remember being able to talk to him several times at Cathy Hughes’ Washington D.C. WOL radio station where he had a talk show in the late 1980s; and over the past 30 years was a frequent guest. Here’s a link from a WOL show two years ago:

Mark From Anaheim, Dick Gregory. The Gloves are Off! [PODCAST]

More information in the following Washington Post video and article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/local/obituaries/black-satirist-inspired-other-comics-with-expert-timing-bold-humor-and-political-comedy/2017/08/19/f9360e40-854f-11e7-902a-2a9f2d808496_story.html

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Just as Ghandi did, Gregory occasionally went on hunger strikes. These hunger strikes called attention to many of America’s injustices to her poor, Black, brown and Native Americans. This link describes his 1968 hunger strike:

http://normgregory.com/dick-gregory-begins-hunger-strike-in-olympia-jail-on-june-6-1968/

From the tribute by the Guardian:

Gregory was one of the first black comedians to find mainstream success with white audiences in the early 1960s. He rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

“Where else in the world but America,” he joked, “could I have lived in the worst neighborhoods, attended the worst schools, rode in the back of the bus, and get paid $5,000 a week just for talking about it?”

Read the full tribute at:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/20/dick-gregory-pioneering-us-comedian-and-activist-dies-aged-84

A Wikipedia excerpt says:

“Gregory gave the keynote Address for Black History Month at Bryn Mawr College on February 28, 2013.[18] His take-away message to the students was to never accept injustice.

Once I accept injustice, I become injustice. For example, paper mills give off a terrible stench. But the people who work there don’t smell it. Remember, Dr. King was assassinated when he went to work for garbage collectors. To help them as workers to enforce their rights. They couldn’t smell the stench of the garbage all around them anymore. They were used to it. They would eat their lunch out of a brown bag sitting on the garbage truck. One day, a worker was sitting inside the back of the truck on top of the garbage, and got crushed to death because no one knew he was there.[18]”

I am soooo excited that I found this 1990’s photo of Dick Gregory, myself, and my Godmother, Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow in the 1990’s in Chicago. Gregory and my godmother (of Rainbow PUSH) were dear friends.