Shortly before I left for Little Rock, I was asked to sing at The Year of James Baldwin, a 90th birthday celebration of the life and legacy of the legendary writer.
The celebration was held at the National Black Theater which also hosted a reading of excerpts from “The Fire Next Time” by a series of amazing artists including Micki Grant, George Faison and Woody King Jr.
In attendance were members of the Baldwin family! The event was inspiring and moving.
After Memphis closed, I came back to New York and hit the ground running by performing two songs during a New York City appearance by the Rev. Dr. William Barber II. The video above is one of those songs. You can see Dr. Barber behind me on the right.
The Rev. Barber is the spiritual leader of the Moral Mondays movement and North Carolina’s Forward Together movement. He’s a powerful speaker, encouraging Americans to fight for moral justice in politics, regardless of party affiliation. The event was organized by Auburn Theological Seminary.
A year ago last Spring, the Rev. Barber helped organize a march in North Carolina that has since grown into tens of thousands of people of all faiths in several states.
I kinda feel like James Baldwin, who gave voice to those struggling with society’s distinctions between race, sex and class, would approve.