She held my hand and gave me her blessing, telling me to “always trust and believe in God” – that “God would watch over me.”
I am confident that I have a very different concept of God than Ms. Robinson; but that did not lessen the depth of her blessing for me. I felt her calling me to believe in God – to believe in what is just, in what is good, and in what is loving.
When hired as a home economics educator; she taught food production, processing, nutrition and healthcare. But she added her own curriculum – voter education and registration.
As a “young elder” of 53 years of age, she made her home and office the headquarters for the Selma voting rights campaign. She was beaten and left unconscious on Bloody Sunday as she attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, along with John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Hosea Williams and others.
She ran for Congress from Alabama, in 1964, hoping to encourage black registration and voting. She was the first female African American to run for office in Alabama and first woman to run for the ticket of the Democratic Party in the state; and, received 10% of the vote.
My mind wonders where she got her courage as my heart listened to the stories that she shared with us last Friday evening at the Germantown Friends Meeting.
Her message was clear – trust that God will care for you.
Trust that what is true, what is right and what is good can be the guiding message for us all.
I don’t believe in a blind faith.
I believe that we must co-create the world with “God” and, that it is my responsibility to act with justice, to act with righteousness and to act with love.
Perhaps that is the sacred activism that is needed. We have enormous challenges to overcome – but no greater than those of the Civil Rights Movement, or those who fought apartheid, or fought for the demise of the Berlin Wall.
It was Amelia Boynton Robinson who has said, in response to being told that we “stand on her shoulder” – “Get off my shoulders! There is work to be done and go out and do it.”
Now, I hear her also saying -- Go out and do it, go out and fight for what is right, what is just and do it with love.
That is our sacred activism.