Seige: A tribute to the Million Man March

Seige: A tribute to the Million Man March and to all of the marches to come...

by Alicia Schooler-Hugg


And so it came to pass that in a giant village square, a throng of African American males raised their collective voices against the weight of hundreds of years of oppression.


Diamonds erupted in the square, sparkling messages of hope, faith and love.  Soon the miracles began.


The crooked were made straight, sight returned to the blind, the hearing-impaired heard sounds of community for the first time, and those who previously could not speak delivered prophecies unto the elders.  What, then, became of the rest?


They were crucified.  The multitudes watched as crowns of thorns were placed upon their wearied brows.  They shouted their anger:


“Crucify them, crucify them.  For they are bowed but not defeated, bent but not fallen.  They hunger but are not starved.  Though their tongues are parched from an age of thirst, their campaigns against the monarchs continue!”


Among them dwelled the spirits of slave mothers whose fatherless sons strained for knowledge to survive the coming destruction.  House slaves now refused to sit silent in their insular kitchens while their kin wailed songs of sorrow in the fields.  Their attitudes revealed a hunger for the message; their shrugs of indifference created a needed diversion enabling those for whom the message was intended to receive it unaltered.


The messenger cried: “Peace, peace be unto you my brethren.  Know you that the light within is your key to salvation.  The light is life fueled by the soul within each of us, and we’re all connected by an invisible umbilical cord to the sun.  (Charles of Mingus noted the messenger’s fingers were crossed and strummed his truth from his bass).


And the Angela of Davis cried: “Nay nay!  Listen not to the water bearers, for you might drown in the River of Untruths.  Listen not, for knowledge must come in rivulets, not floods.  Listen not, for too much of it may create saturation and with saturation the end of learning, the demise of living.”


And the Colin of Powell said:  “There are no issues that we cannot all claim as a nation, no battles we cannot all fight as a clan and no problems we cannot all solve as one nation under God.  Remove those polyps please.”


Now the Louis of Farrakhan, his voice cut like crystal, said:  “Even though the word be stripped of blood, fear no evil.  I am responsible for comments that come unbidden from my flawless tongue.  I mean well, sleep well, eat well, am well.  Be you well and go forward, leaving lands to the landless and flowers strewn along the paths of change.”

The infants, long imbued with the Secret Knowledge of the Ages, cried: “Enough already.  We want to slide on the slides, swing on the swings and make loud preposterous noises when we’ve done the best we can.”


The young men in the square took heed.  When they had supped they said: “It is written.  We have mingled with the prophets, drunk the wine of contingencies and labored under love’s lost days.  Our Sammy of Davis danced for three decades—Bo Janglin’ through Christianity and Judaism, black and white and still they did not believe; Louis of Armstrong trumpeted his way through half a century, his sweet blues wafting to life’s ceiling; Josephine of Baker danced the seven veils of life, creating a coat through her many-colored children until the last one fell away.  And now our prophets call down through the mists:


“Listen and hear us well.  It was for you we lived and shouted the messages crafted to guarantee a place for your children and their children’s children.  Truth is life’s vintage byproduct, its best lesson.  Your task is simple, yet as hard as that of any living creature:


Seek out the great truths, embrace them, live them, and note their relationship to one another.  For without truth your lives will not have mattered and you will have cast not a stroke upon the canvas of eternity.  Life’s basis truths are eternal.  Live your own truth moment by moment and your crops will be bountiful.”