The character of a movement manifests itself in its music. And the music was powerful today on the Mall in Washington, DC. I took the above picture as the Poor People’s Campaign gathered to march up Independence Avenue to the Capitol. From the stage, Rev. Barber, Rev. Blackman, and the Justice Choir got us moving with Fight the Power. Listen. Feel the energy. As Rev. Blackman describes the people on the move, “I can feel the Red Sea of oppression parting right now. … Get in place, for the sea is parting, and we’re going to cross on dry land.”
Earlier I was moved to tears by Emma’s Revolution leading us in their song Keep on moving forward, updated for the Poor People’s Campaign.
I wondered why I was so moved, Perhaps it was the hours of standing in the humid heat beforehand. More than that these hours were filled with the testimony of so many witnesses telling of the violence (domestic, military, social, economic, political, and environmental) in their lives.
At heart they were tears of joy. As Diane DiPrima told us, “ALL POWER TO JOY, which will remake the world.” “Keep on moving forward” embodies the joy that will end this violence and the strength of that joy.
Matthew David Morris singing and leading us in “When you lift from the bottom, everybody rises” provided a resonant lead-in to “Keep on moving forward.” You can hear Matt followed by Emma’s Revolution on this video, beginning about 2 hours 52 minutes. (You can move your cursor to that point.) With the short introduction from Rev. Barber, these two songs provide the essence of experiencing today’s launch for the Poor People’s Campaign. It’s worth listening. You will be moved.