On This Day, I Choose Hope; Not Fear

On this day in 1955, the Civil Right Movement, a result of decades of brutality, segregation, and whole-scale inhumanity, was born.

Martin Luther King Jnr, on the 5th day of December, 1955, just four days after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat, started the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

At first, they just wanted respect, but quickly realised there could be no respect without human dignity and hope. Segregation, while a moral stain on whites in America, was a mental chain that crippled all blacks in the south; suppressed their dignity and took away any hope they had for lasting happiness, or even the pursuit of it.

There was one solution, really. Segregation had to go.

The rest, like they say, is history.

History is never kind – it can even be unforgiving – but it is soft on those that stay true to the essence of our common humanity.  It sings well of the man that starts a movement – a movement to inspire – any movement that stirs us into outrage against the very things that dehumanises us. 

History loves the women that bring hope; not fear. For hope is the thing with wings. Hope elevates the animal in us into the human we become. 

Fear brings up the animal – where the survival instincts is the strongest. Hope bets on bigger possibilities, a change of mind, a flutter of the heart.

Fear beats you up until you submit, and builds up a prison in your mind.

Hope picks you up until you walk, and holds your hand until you fly again.

Fear is like a bully that picks on the weakest and with clenched fists aims to break the small piece into even smaller pieces

Hope, is defiance in the face of cruelty, love in the midst of hate; is an unclenching of the palms to let go of bias and prejudice cause only then can we reach for true victory. 

Hope is the audacity to regain our rights – the consciousness to demand respect and dignity. It is the writing of our own history and the building of our own hallowed halls.

Hope, like courage, is when you look your oppressor in the eyes and say: “No, you cant have my rights, I still need them.”

Our right is like a car – it is helping no one in the garage – use it.