Monday, January 21, 2008

SAY WHAT? IT'S KING DAY

While we were out of the office the other day, an attempt was made to deliver a certified package to our film company. When Virginia went to the Post Office next day to pick it up, the clerk looked at the claim slip and said, “You have a business—a production company, right? With that name we can’t say.”

Huh?

So Virginia said, “Do you mean 4 Colored Girls Productions?”

The clerk said yes, then told her what a flurry of activity the envelope had caused, because nobody could figure out how to refer to it without saying the name. Seems it was against Postal workplace regulations to use such language.

Amazing Grace. We are both of an age when we remember it as one of the more dignified names we were called. And we in no way mean for the name to be demeaning, shuffling’ or head bowing. For us, it is a reminder of how far we’ve come, where we came from, and all that we were taught about being proud of who are and working hard to accomplish our goals. We believed it was the content of our character that counted, and that Black is beautiful. We still do. Those early lessons are always in our minds and on our hearts when we write. There is no one who expressed with more power or eloquence the necessity to treat people with the dignity and respect they are due than Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. He fought specifically for the rights of Black people—Negroes or Colored people as we called ourselves at the time—but he spoke to the humanity of all people.

The celebration of Dr. King on the anniversary of his birth is unique. It is not a memorial. The focus is on the possibilities of what we can achieve. So, we celebrate the fact that four Black women can come together as 4 Colored Girls Productions in order to produce movies, and reasonably expect to get it done. We celebrate the fact that there is a Black man running for president who can reasonably expect to win. We heard a young man on the radio this morning, talking about why he was honoring Dr. King today by participating in a program to mentor younger children instead of hanging out with friends. He said it was because Dr. King, “Knew he had to get stuff done.” Well, there is a lot of stuff left to get done. King Day is our annual reminder to keep doing it.

Have a thoughtful, inspired, and motivated King Day. Get stuff done.

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 3:59 PM

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