Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here We Stand!

Every now and then, my friend and colleague William Cooper, composes a piece that I am compelled to share. This is one of them:

ONE MORE STEP by William Fredrick Cooper

I will weep at ten o’clock tonight. The tears will mix with the earth, causing flowers to grow. Gratefulness flowing my heart, to say that I give thanks to our forefathers is an understatement, for their labor was not in vain.

Imagine This: There’s a party going on in Heaven tonight. My brothers and sisters arriving Before The Mayflower are no longer in chains and shackles. Elegantly attired in tuxedos and evening gowns, with humility from yore they offer assistance, but are told by Our Heavenly Father to take a chill pill. They’re free, He reminds them. Those who were raped, whipped and tortured by slave masters throughout America’s Bad Time In History will be served by others as well, for they too, earned a lifetime of peace.

Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Dubois and Paul Robeson a re exchanging hugs and hand pounds, and Malcolm X and Huey Newton are arguing over a game of chess. Though their anger has been tempered, their wars against injustice are now reserved for pawns, rooks, bishops and knights. Old habits dying hard, both want to win this match by any means necessary. Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chisolm and Rosa Parks are in their Sunday’s best. Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis and Jesse Owens are well-wishers at the gates to many late arrivals.

Ray Charles and Eubie Blake begin the evening’s entertainment by tickling the ivory in a way where Bojangles Robinson and Gregory Hines can get down. After the hoofers complete their scintillating duet that is sure to bring the house down, Lady Day, Dinah Washington and Phyllis Hyman will sing a version of “God Bless The Child” that will run over the dam of tear-ducts from all in attendance.

After Marvin Gaye made the congregation think with a spirited version of “What’s Going On” and we received ten minute apiece of comedy from Robin Harris, Red Foxx and Moms Mabley, many in the audience are in anticipation of Bernie Mac. The reason why is apparent to all that have convened for this very special pay-per-view telecast.

“You’ve heard him speak?” they all ask.

Bernie Mac, shaking his head in amazement, grins.

“He’s personable, friendly and funny, but he takes the business of changing things in America very seriously. Y’all just don’t understand. He ain’t scared of them mutha…

“Shut Yo Mouth,” Isaac Hayes interrupts.

“But I was talking about…”

“We Know,” The millions voices of African-American History shouted in unison.

Gerald Levert and Luther Vandross would lead a version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” after the main event, but Mahalia Jackson would elicit emotions with a jaw-dropping rendition of “Amazing Grace”. Again moved by the magical melody of song, the crowd above roared for the keynote speaker to approach the podium.

He did, to a five minute standing ovation. Picture millions standing and applauding the reverend. Truly A sight to behold. Our Heavenly Father gave Martin Luther King specific instructions in four words: I HAVE A DREAM.

In the same impassionate voice, the heavens vibrated as he began by giving Abraham Lincoln, John and Robert Kennedy praise. Then, in a measured mixture of force and grace, from start to finish, the minister address the crowd with love. Speaking the same words of hope and unity that he uttered forty-five years ago in the shadows of Lincoln on that Washington lawn, he spoke of children of all races and colors holding hands as a current of history created by all on those in heaven will meet with a new tide of creation on earth, “In America” he emphasized.

“At Ten P.M. Eastern Standard time, we will be one more step away from being free at last,” Martin Luther King announced. “A Black Man will go toe-to-toe with a Republican Candidate for the right to become the 44th President of the United States of America.”

“One More Step! One more Step!” Millions chanted with all the emotion in their hearts, all the power in their voices, all the love in their souls. Then, they all tuned into the speech about to be delivered on earth.

William’s Thoughts: The Dream now one step away, the down payment of the White House will be made tonight in the most important speech given by a person of color in this country to date. The road to victory will not be easy, as Barack Obama will be subjected to a scrutiny unlike no other before him. Many have died for this dream deeply rooted in many fabrics, and we can’t forget that. Conducting creative movements with discipline and determination, we wear the scars of our forefathers as we are nine weeks away from the Promised Land.

Nine Weeks from freedom ringing for four years.

Nine Weeks from singing, if but for a moment, FREE AT LAST!

Nine Weeks. One More Step.

William Fredrick Cooper

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