On the Way / Why I’m Marching
We probably should have taken a selfie or something, but we didn’t. We’re just trying to get it together, and of course I’m running late. At about 11:15 pm Thursday, my husband Robert dropped me off at my friend Gail’s house, along with my duffle bag, two medium-sized insulated meal bags, several bottles of water and my pillow. Gail, 63, is my bud. We met 14 years ago when we were both looking for a writing group to join. She’s the kind of person who makes friends wherever she goes. She’s genuine, caring, kind, and she has blazing red hair she keeps fresh from a bottle “for drama.”
She’s white and I’m black, and when it comes to our friendship, race doesn’t matter. It’s not that we don’t see or appreciate each other’s race; we do. But when it comes to our friendship, it’s about being friends, caring about each other’s causes and being there for one another.
Honestly if it wasn’t for Gail, I probably wouldn’t be making this trip to DC for the Women’s March on Washington. I likely would have participated in Charlotte’s March, protesting on the local level. But since Gail offered me the chance to ride up with her, I said yes right away.
Ever since the election results, I’ve felt the need to do SOMETHING. Taking part in this March, to let my voice be heard through moving my feet, reminds me of what my mother did during the Civil Rights movement. In 1963 while a student at Morgan State University, two years before I was born, she participated in student-led, nonviolent civil disobedience. She marched and she participated in phone campaigns attempting to force whites to allow blacks to eat in whites-only restaurants and movie theaters.
Those students’ efforts led to change.
I’ve got the example of my mother and other trailblazers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Gloria Steinem, and Angela Davis, who took action,
and I want to follow in their footsteps.
For me this protest is not about trying to change the election results. What’s done is done. Trump won. Whether it was fair and square is a conversation for another time. For me this protest is about gathering in a loud, collective voice to let Trump and the country know that while we lost this round, we are not conceding in quiet defeat. We will not stand by and allow Trump and his cadre of ill-equipped cabinet nominees and so-called advisors to stomp on the issues near and dear to many, issues like Civil Rights, Affordable Health Care, Immigration, Voters’ rights, LGBTQ rights, the Environment, Climate Change, Black Lives Matter, and Muslim/religious freedoms.
If people like my mother could protest and see change as a result, why can’t we? We don’t have to be silent.
We ARE the change we are looking for, and this is just the beginning.
**Stay tuned for the second installment of Angela’s journey as well as other women who are marching and will be sharing their stories with us at Change Seven.
Are you marching on Washington? Wish you could, but can’t? Share your stories in the comments section below!
Event Details at WomensMarchonWashington.com
Mission: The Women’s March on Washington aims to send a message to all levels of government, including but not limited to the incoming Presidential administration, that we stand together in solidarity and we expect elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities. The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level.
Date and Time: Saturday, January 21, 2017. Rally begins at 10:00am and ends at 1:15pm. We will begin marching at 1:15pm.
Location: There is a program of speakers and performers on the stage between 3rd and 4th on Independence facing NW.
The Rally: A program featuring nationally recognized advocates, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and others will be announced in the coming days.
Tickets: The Women’s March is NOT a ticketed event, no ticket is required.
Angela Haigler Gee lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She studied journalism and mass communication at Iowa State University, and is currently part of the award-winning marketing and communications team at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Follow her at Angelic Musings.
Artist and writer Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center and in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her recently published books include Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, A Brief History of Stillwater Minnesota, and Ugly Girl. Her needlepoints and bead work have recently appeared in QWERTY, Cardinal Sins, Grey Sparrow, and Calyx. (She is the featured artist whose needlepoint “After” appears on our poster above.)