Sunday, September 15, 2013

Four Girls Jubilee

As I was preparing for this morning -- September 15th, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama -- I discovered that I was not alone in wanting to mark and honor this memorial.  There is, I learned, a nation-wide movement to not only remember this event but to again be spurred to action by it.  The name of this movement is the Four Girls Jubilee.
One of the responses is this lovely video by Mecca Burns. 
Her poem is worth reading on its own:
In the Jubilee time...

I will tame the wild forces of nature~ fire, water, earth, and air~
The powers that once would drown me, burn me, bury me, blow me away.

To the fire that sparks and spreads from one heart to another, bent on destruction: 
Let me be the kind of flame
That never flickers with the changing times
Steady and strong, wide, and willing to turn hate into love
Let me be that fire.

To the water that once overcame me:
Let me be the kind of water
That flows like justice and righteousness.
Let me be that mighty stream.

To the earth that buried secrets, buried whole neighborhoods:
Let me be the kind of earth
That is shaped and sculpted
To give shelter and sustenance.
Let me be that earth.

 To the winds of hate that tore through the sky:
Let me be lifted by the winds of change
That bring news of love and mercy to distant lands
Let me be that wind.
Water, you will not drown me now.
Instead, you will teach me how to slake my thirst for freedom.
Earth you will not crush me. 
You will teach me how tenderly to hold all the children in my arms.
Wind you will not sway me.
Instead you will carry me great distances.
Fire, you will not burn me now.  
Instead I will be the flame that purifies with its passion.

Mecca Burns
Thanks to Stewart Burns for history:,
Camisha Jones for poetic guidance, Bernard Hankins and Anthony Amos for vision

 Pax tecum,

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1 comment:

Pete said...