Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Oh, Coretta...

i have been unready to talk about my experience of coretta scott king until now. i am pretty sure that this was due to my jewish soul which is uncomforttable dealing with death until a body is in the ground (i believe in the three day until burial limit we jews work with, and you cant imagine how hard it was for me when the pope died and it took over a month to get him in the ground), but she was put in earth yesterday and i feel i can now respectfully talk about her.

i had the priviledge to see coretta speak at PRIDE in atlanta in 1996. she was a even tempered speaker, somewhat soft in tone, but powerful in content. for those unfamiliar, PRIDE is the yearly glbt festival, and atlanta's is pretty much the big one in the south, with over 350,000 attendees that year, and her words of civil rights were greeted by deafening cheers.

i know for me, coretta's ability to see past her own religious beliefs, her acceptance of this wacky rainbowed crowd of dykes and drag queens, her insistance that each individual in peidmont park that day was as human as herself, and deserved rights as much as herself, and her willingness to put herself on the line for MY rights, changed my being in so many ways.

i wish everyone had an opportunity such as i did to experience a woman of history in the present. to have one of the primary civil rights leaders of the fifties and sixties (and yes i know, it was technically her husband, but imagine coretta's sacrifice during this time) say to them that there is still a struggle, and that she will not stop fighting for equal rights just because her segment of the population is doing better then before, nor will she leave anyone behind because of personal disagreement with the lifestyle (and no, she did not verbalize any feelings of disagreeing, but she was, after all, a preacher's wife).

thank you, coretta, for your energy, your commitment, your caring, your belief in justice....
i promise, i will never leave anyone behind either

song of the day: Kadish-jewish prayer for the dead yet
the Kadish is not a mourning of the dead, but a praising of life in honor of their years.

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