Discussing “Selma” at Love ‘n Faith
I am sitting at a table in the cozy Love ‘n Faith Community Cafe with a group of strangers, some of them students –current and former ones — of Howard University, and I can’t help but think of the invisible connection between the NC A&T Students’ Sitting for Justice at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, NC, and these words spoken by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá more than a century ago at Rankin Chapel in Howard University:
“Today I am most happy, for I see here a gathering of the servants of God. I see white and black sitting together. There are no whites and blacks before God. All colors are one, and that is the color of servitude to God. Scent and color are not important. The heart is important. If the heart is pure, white or black or any color makes no difference. God does not look at colors; He looks at the hearts. He whose heart is pure is better. He whose character is better is more pleasing.”
~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 23 April 1912, Talk at Howard University, Washington, D.C. published in ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace’, p. 44-46
We are sitting and discussing the wonderful, informative, thought-provoking movie “Selma“, which masterfully portrays a not deified but human Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., deliberately considering the heavy responsibilities laying on his shoulders, as well as the difficult choices and their grave consequences he and his collaborators would face if the struggle for justice and dignity was to be fruitful.
Colorblindness is wrong and tolerance is not enough
We talk about what in the movie surprised us, unsettled us, inspired us. We talk about unity and what it means for us, and what it might mean for others. We talk about diversity and the danger of colorblindness. We talk about appreciating each other’s differences beyond the basic social expectations of tolerance.
We talk and share stories of inspiration as varied as the delicious menu handwritten on the message board of this community café which intends to host monthly discussions on race. We talk and share high aspirations as varied as the quotes of “Love n’ Faith” inspiration printed on the cafe’s tables.
“O CHILDREN OF MEN!
Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.”
~ Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #68
His truth is marching on
Aware that talk alone is not enough, we part our ways, now befriended strangers, into a new day confident that his truth is marching on, that when the glory comes it will be ours, and we are the ones to make the dream that would change the world a reality.
Join the conversation! Let us all make the dream a reality!