Dear Mr. Denzel Washington,
I ended 2007 by seeing the movie The Great Debaters. Please know that I believe you are a profound director/actor/human being.You are walking as a being of Divine Grace. I was so touched by the truly beautiful lesson of hope, faith and perseverance that I decided to take a young friend from Jordan to see the movie. For me it was a re-membering of a past life--- a pathway, and a road that my earthly anscestors had taken. It was the reason that I desired we find a place to hold and cherish eachother with One Heart.
I cried during The Great Debators---big crocodile tears. I cried tears of horror and shame at a public lynching for a crime unknown. I cried tears of hope for sharecroppers working together regardless of the color of their skin. I cried for the bravery, and brilliance of James Farmer Sr. and Melvin B. Tolson who both stood as a testament of excellence, faith and hope in the days of Jim Crow. I honored and respected their wives for their brilliance and the support of their husbands; as well as the love they transmitted to all. These women were the glue that created chapels of hope. It was these women who opened their hearts, and nurtured all who passed through their homes.
I honored and respected the students, and journeyed with them in hope, in despair and fear---still somehow believing that all were one. I saluted Howard, Fisk, the school in Oaklahoma, and Harvard University for promoting education as the right of every citizen.
I was reminded that some of today’s children have forgotten our history and don’t understand the importance of pursuing excellence. My heart was heavy but joyful, because I realized we are living in a time where truly we do have a potential opportunity to look beyond race or class into one’s heart. But still, the truth is, we are not there yet.
I then asked my young Jordanian friend---born of Palestinian parents and living in a land where even though her birthplace was Jordan, all of Palestinian ancestry are considered second class citizens. I asked her if there was anything in the Great Debators that touched her heart. She was quiet for a moment, and her eyes swelled with tears. “Yes”, she said. “You know that man hanging from the tree”, her voice faltered. “That is what the Israelis did to my grandfather.”
I stood for a moment, shocked by the revelation. My heart was filled with compassion for she too knew the pain of separation in a very real way.
Herstory/ mystory / yourstory/ ourstory------ in Gaza/ in Rwanda / in the Congo /in Kenya / in Tibet / in China / in Harlem / in Chicago / in LA / in Caracas / in Port Au Prince /in Buenos Aires / in London--- in every place throughout the world--- in our heads and in our hearts, we are challenged to stop promoting and creating poverty and fear based societies.
When will we see our differences as a field of beautiful flowers? This is my question? When will there be equity, and equanimity?
Right now, as I release my shame at our anger/our fear/ and our violence towards each other, there is nothing left in my heart but love, hope and a desire for compassion and understanding.
In my minds eye, I vision a world beyond war, and poverty-- a world that lovingly supports, and accepts the greatness of each being.
I thank everyone involved with the movie The Great Debaters for helping me explore the depths of my ancestoral pain, my personal courage, my hope, and my faith!
Melony McGant firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 21, 2008
Melony McGant, poet, storyteller, humanist and world lover of children lives on HOPE; works to breathe in love, and exhales fear (false expectations appearing real). She says "Perhaps our current challenges are wake-up calls for our collective awakening to truth." And she believes that the truth is, there is no need for our constant bickering, our disdain for eachother, for wars and killing, for world hunger, massive disease, for discrimination, subjugation, or oppression. She maintains that LOVE, even on a rainy day, is the answer to our dreams, our individual quests, and our future collective identity. "If we can learn to value our children, our elders, ourselves, and our Mother Earth=Heart, then surely we have the power to impact society and to create a world filled with JOY."