Songs from My Driveway: For Peace, for Justice, for Community
I founded the MWP as I believe that the world’s most vulnerable populations should not suffer from health and mental health problems. Migrants who are exposed to violence, discrimination and environmental shocks and stressors should have access to services and treatment to relieve suffering. If we look across the globe, we will see that many of the most vulnerable people in the world are black and brown. This is not a coincidence. The ongoing, devastating and frankly enraging injustices against black folks in the US are also not a coincidence.
As a Black woman who has experienced racism personally, professionally and felt the impact of systemic racism on multiple levels, I have struggled with how to cope with recent events of racism, violence and brutality against my brothers and sisters.
My partner and I have been struggling of late in figuring out something to “do” to address the inner rage, the deep sadness and desire for connection with our community. My father recently put together a video chronicling the recent times to Marvin Gaye’s seminal album What’s Going On. I found myself thinking of the poignant images from my father’s video and singing the lyrics to What’s Going On and Inner City Blues on one of my daily runs throughout my neighborhood-trying to process everything that has been happening. As former musicians in a indie-rock band, my partner and I decided to get the band back together (well, the two of us and a new member, our son--the drummer) and set up shop in our driveway. We would play songs of protest from the civil rights era and beyond. This would be our contribution.
The timing was perfect as our neighborhood had a March for Racial Justice last Sunday. The organizers of the march and I joined forces and the route included a pass by our home. I have been told that over 500 people joined the March. I can’t tell you how moved I was to see so many white folks stand when I sang the Black National Anthem (Lift Every Voice and Sing). I can’t express how it felt to have someone yell “I See You” as I sang Sam Cooke’s A Change Gonna Come.
One of my colleagues recently asked the question..what’s the end goal for the protests? I admit that we will not solve racism and violence against Black people by singing songs from our driveway. But we will continue to perform every weekend. This will be a part of our contribution for peace, for justice, for healing and for our community. The MWP urges and encourages you to do the same in any and all ways that you are moved to...