A few of you (so, that’s basically all my readers – ha ha) have asked about the MLK Jr. Concert. I guess I’ve been reluctant to write about it. It was fun, and I enjoyed the singing – but the hour before the event came together was difficult. It was almost as if Satan had tried to orchestrate a perfect storm, a window of opportunity for some of our differing cultural norms to collide and explode.
The weather was terrible, so when I showed up at 5 for rehearsal, there were 3 of us there. At 5:30, maybe 10. At 5:40, no one but the white folks in the group seemed concerned that our director was not there, there was no program, the sound system was not up and running, and it looked like we were not going to have any sort of run through.
I was sitting by myself in a pew, with my folder on my lap, my undies totally in a bunch, wondering why in the world I had gotten myself involved into this. But, as I looked around, no one else seemed concerned. All the African-Americans in the group were cutting up, visiting, enjoying each other, confident it would all come together in the end – which it did, by the way.
So, after all that, I felt dumb. I felt like I hadn’t navigated the opportunity very well. I wished I’d had the presence of spirit to just go with it, instead of spending that hour thinking about how “white” I felt.
I enjoyed being a part of it so much, and yet can see why we self-segregate so frequently. I felt the tension of wanting to walk with a few of them in friendship, yet feeling insecure and different.
It was an honor to celebrate Dr. King, and as excerpts from some of his speeches were read throughout the evening, I was very moved. I’m sure we have not done all he hoped we would.
Thanks for asking about the experience!
PS: Quick giggle – our local paper had a picture of the choir in it, but you couldn’t see me because I was behind someones head!!