Awakening

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By Monica Lindsey, Annapolis

Like many, on Nov. 9, 2016, I woke up in a place that looked like my home in Maryland. I walked down the same steps, ate in the same kitchen and pulled out of the same parking space in the same car I had driven for the past five years. However, for all intents and purposes, life had completely changed for me.

My mother oft-quoted Luke 12: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required…” I wondered many times throughout my youth what she meant. The reality and meaning came on January 21, 2017, the day I, along with millions of others, marched. On this day I marched with my daughters and friends. We found ourselves intertwined in a moment that history that words and pictures can’t even begin to describe. This is the day that I became an activist.

Truly, I knew women and men who marched in the 60s, Occupied Wall Street in 2011 and spoke out for the 99 percent. But I had not yet found my existence, my voice or my strength because it was either before my time or not my time.

Before Nov. 8, I had lived a relatively privileged life as an African American woman living in the shadows of those who fought hard for the privileges I liberally used without regard. The sacrifices, tears, and heartaches were not a part of my experience or reality. So successful had my family been at covering their painful experiences, I had to search my conscience hard to realize that my reality was a result of hard-won battles of social and racial justice. I had not been party to the sit-ins and marches. I missed the raised hands joined in unity. I did not speak with the voices raised against the injustices of discrimination and biases.

It took staring into the devastated eyes of my two daughters the morning of November 9 for me to wake up and hear my call. I was without words to describe how this could happen in America in this supposed age of enlightenment.

So here I stand lending my voice, extending my hand in a battle that I thought was won. The battle continues. I have been passed the torch, I must continue the cry and march on.

Monica Lindsey now leads the Anne Arundel Women’s March Huddle. For more information, contact: aahuddlenetwork@gmail.com