Last week, I talked about the Trayvon Martin verdict.
I’m not going to return to that discussion, this week—in the face of ongoing protest and outrage over the verdict—I want to speak to the role of art and its potential to spark social movements.
Let me explain- It was certainly no surprise that Stevie Wonder helped lead the current and rapidly growing movement to boycott the State of Florida in protest over its Stand your Ground laws and the recent verdict.
Stevie Wonder is a visionary, and he always understood the role art can play in politics and promoting social change. He grew up in an era in which art was a way for Black people to raise their voices and speak to the unacceptable conditions we faced.
Think the Black Arts Movement; think Sonia Sanchez; Curtis Mayfield; Nina Simone; Marvin Gaye; Aretha Franklin; Ossie Davis; Ruby Dee; Muhammad Ali; Curt Flood; Harry Belafonte; The Last Poets; and many more.
These artistic warriors put themselves, their money and their successful careers on the line for the sake of their beliefs and their community.
Imagine where we’d be if it were not for the sacrifice, courage and leadership of these bold artists in challenging times like we are now in. We continue to stand on the shoulders of our ancestors who chose the conscientious path over the popular one.
So what does this all mean for the rest of us? Those of us who are not high profile celebrities?
It means we have to recognize our own power within the spheres we influence. No, we may not be able to have CNN publicize our political positions across the world like Stevie’s recent onstage declaration, but we may be able to impact our immediate community in a positive way.
I’m a firm believer that you have as much power as you think you do. If I truly want to change something I can’t accept, then I have to first believe that I have the power to change it.
And one thing we do have power over is ourselves. And, as they say, the most important thing we can do is to change the man or woman in the mirror…
Although he has been blind for most of his life, Stevie Wonder has always seen this clearly. Let it inspire us to use our gifts to stand for something and, in doing so, make this world a more humane and Godly place for our children.
I’ll leave you with this quote, I’m sure you’ve heard it before and it still rings true. It goes like this:
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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