I’m still on high from last night. I had to throttle down enough to share a slice of it with you and make it a short stop (500 words or less). Here we go!
“And what did you say your name is?”
“Christina… Christina Wade, like wade in the water.”
“Ah, Christina…” she stretched her hand toward me and smiled beautifully. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
I looked down at her hand, snatched a quick breath, and smiled too. Then I remembered handshake etiquette 101 – don’t leave the person hanging. Her hand was delicate but strong. Her eyes were bright. I was fascinated at the opportunity to experience Ms. Ruby Shuttlesworth Bester, daughter of the late Civil Rights Activist Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. Don’t worry, this all happened in a nanosecond.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too. Thank you for everything.”
I’m never star struck. I’ve always been able to see the humanity in public figures, but tonight I touched history and I felt it. The same as when I toured Talladega College in Alabama as a Black History Month adventure and when I sat in Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
History. Living history.
It elevated my senses and I didn’t want to run over the gravitas. There were community leaders, civil rights activists, non-profit champions, educators, authors, lawyers, artists, neighbors, and more. I shook their hands and we exchanged rich dialogue about hosting history in schools and in our hearts. With the artwork of Rico Gatson at the helm, everyone in the room beamed with the energy of Shuttlesworth’s progressive movement.
When I saw the image of his mural on the screen, it felt like wings of inspiration were hovering over every conversation. Illuminating us just like its subject. The room vibrated with goodness. Past met present and the future was born as we left the Birmingham Museum of Art.
I touched history last night, and it touched me… again.
And it pushed me further into my destiny to ensure its breath lives on.
I leave you with this question – What part of history can you breathe life into? I know the sentence structure is incorrect, but that’s how we talk to ourselves when we have real conversations within.
Then, go forth and change history. The future is waiting on you. On us.
Peace & Thanks for listening!