From Ruby Sales of the SpiritHouse Project:
A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: On November 12, 2014 at Freedom Plaza (14th @ Pennsylvania Ave) in Washington D.C. at 12:30 p.m., SpiritHouse Project and our allies will stand with you to break the silence on this modern-day lynching by holding the first national, public memorial service that includes a public roll call of the 1000 black victims of state-sanctioned murders. Family members from across the nation whom have lost loved ones to these murders will lead a processional into Freedom Plaza. The theme of this gathering, A Charge To Keep: A Movement to Build, reminds us that this is more than a memorial service. It is a call to the living for us to keep our eyes on the prize of racial justice.
As part of this public memorial service, 40 ordinary people and those publicly known will present a roll call of the victims by reading from scrolls. The readers come from a community of activists, pastors, artists, practitioners, workers, students, parents, and seniors. SpiritHouse Project will open up the circle of scroll readers to include voices of volunteers from the gathered participants.
We ask everyone to wear red to represent the bloodshed by our fallen sisters and brothers!
THIS IS ALSO A DAY OF ACTION: After the memorial service, a mighty cloud of gray-haired witnesses escorted by younger witnesses will deliver the scrolls to the White House. The gray-haired witnesses will go as the symbol of a powerful moral force and remnant who lived during segregation, participated in dismantling it, participated in the crossover, and are living witnesses today of the organized and structural assaults on the black community to institutionalize white supremacy by any means necessary. They will escort the families of murdered victims as a community to the gates of the White House for an audience with the President. If they are not received, the mighty cloud of gray-haired witnesses will participate in a non-violent action.
We expect Sarah Collins Randolph, who survived with great injuries the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham that killed her sister, Addie Mae Collins, to lead the processional along with families of murdered victims. Spirithouse Director Ruby Sales will join the processional as well, as a survivor during the Civil Rights Movement of a shotgun blast intended for her but which killed Jonathan Daniels, who pushed Ms. Sales out of the line of fire and took the bullet.
Rev. C.T. Vivian, a leading player in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a civil rights veteran, will walk in the processional, as well as give a spiritual reflection on the history of state-sanctioned murders. Our eulogist will be Rev. Dr. Susan Smith, pastor, journalist, author, and former SpiritHouse Project Seasoned Voices Fellow, who worked to help break the silence on these murders. Rev. Traci Blackmon, one of the prime movers in the Ferguson Movement, will speak on the spiritual meaning of these murders. Other outstanding and committed guests are on our list of invitees.
It is important that we stand together and let victims’ families, government officials, and the media know that we will not tolerate a lawless police force that is out of control. We will serve notice that the people of this nation are sick and tired of a racist police force that can target, stalk, and execute black people without legal ramifications.
By standing together, we say loudly and clearly that our brothers and sisters who have been victims of state-sanctioned murders are not disposable waste! They are essential to the life force of our families, community, and the nation!
Since 2007, SpiritHouse Project has been on the frontline unveiling state sanctioned murders. We are keeping our charge to build up a movement. Will you keep yours?