Last night, I watched the PBS documentary Freedom Riders and was reinvigorated. Lately, as I have been chronicling my personal struggles, it has taken a lot of energy to keep my spirits up and to move on into my glorious future. That has taken away energies toward the cause and that is understandable because you have to help yourself before you can help others.
That is why it was important for me to watch the story of the young men and women who braved the best shot the Jim Crow South threw at them and made a difference, as well as history. It was also important to be reminded how Jackson, Mississippi became the last defiant stand for the riders.
Young people from all over the country, by the hundreds, descended on Jackson, ready to go to Mississippi State Prison at Parchmen, to bring the rule of law to the defiant Dixieland. It reminded me of when I made the decision to come to Jackson because I am sure they were asked the same question I was: why Jackson?
They knew the answer before I did. I had to stay in Mississippi for four years to see what they saw. Fifty years ago, they saw Jackson as the crossroads from the past to the future. Now it is my responsibility to keep that pathway open.
People have constantly asked me will I ever run for political office again. I have been hesitant to answer because of my current struggles. Last night reminded me that my internal demons are nothing compared to the principalities and powers that terrorized those young freedom fighters. They perservered and so will I. More importantly than running for office, I am engaged again and I will be active in the pursuit of justice, opportunity and respect for all Mississippians.
Thank you Freedom Riders for breaking down barriers for me and continuing to inspire me to do God's work, especially in Jackson, Mississippi.