Sunday, May 31, 2009

keep your eyes on the prize

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1820 – 1913)

in march, when I introduced readers to my friend joan southgate and her dream of establishing an underground railroad educational center in cleveland, I shared these wise words of harriet tubman's, in light of yesterday's festivities it is only fitting to repeat them.

I have a feeling that sister harriet was present and smiling down on us yesterday knowing that joan, and all of us share joan's dream, are one step closer to making joan's dream a reality. hundreds of folks gathered together to welcome joan home as she concluded her 250 mile walking journey from st. catherine's ontario to cleveland. there is a fairly decent (in fact, very decent) article in this morning's pd, which you can read here.

it was a glorious day; I was there take part of this joyful celebration. and yes I was snapping away like mad - you can see a couple of my flickr slideshows capturing some of the day's highlights by going here and here (if you click on the links, just know that the first slideshow is longer than the second).


mavis staples singing hold on, keep your eyes on the prize, a folk song which was particularly popular during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. like many influential protest songs, this song is rooted in an older traditional song. the tune for keep your eyes on the prize is drawn from in gospel plow, a traditional hymn. along with staples, many other artists have covered the song including: mahalia jackson, pete seeger, odetta, bob dylan, and bruce springsteen.

12 comments:

e said...

Loved your photos and accompanying text. Your friend Joan Southgate sounds like an awesome woman and I would love to hear more about her efforts with the underground railroad history center. I read and enjoyed the article in the Plain Dealer but was taken aback by some of the comments following it...

Hope you are doing well.

The Blue Elephant said...

Thanks for helping to keep this history alive.

Baino said...

She made it bless her! I'm with e, some of those comments are absolutely disgusting. What on earth does race have to do with her achievements. There's a lot of hate out there. Good that there are people like you who commend and support her efforts. She's a champ!

Merle Sneed said...

One of the signs in the video said, "All are free or none are." Truer words have not been spoken.

Ronda Laveen said...

That first pic was amazing. Loved the clip. Although, it was a bit hard to watch the intimidation, it is important to not forget.

Sandra Leigh said...

It looks like a beautiful day on every level. What an inspirational woman Joan Southgate is. When you see her again, please give her a big Canadian hug for me.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

OMG e and baino, I didn't read the comments that followed the article (since I saw the on-line article started out the same as the paper article) it is amazing and depressing how hateful and ignorant some people can be! yikes.

but what can we say, it does take all kinds - joan is amazing and I'm crossing my fingers that some giant gift comes through some how so the house can get renovated during joan's life .... although given how healthy she is (in mind and body) she could have another 20-30 years and outlive many of us!

sandra - I will give joan a hug for you! she is loves hugs - giving and receiving!!

ronda - the sculpture was great fun to play with - photographically speaking that is!

blue - you are welcome!

R.L. Bourges said...

The Mavis Staple version has always been my favorite + this particular vid is so appropriate to the story. I'll be back for the first flickr but loved the second (the house clearly needs TLC quick!). Great to know Sister Harriet made it. Congrats to her supporters too, with those cool t-shirts.
My favorite comment in the newspaper article was the one by motomomma.
Thanks for yet another inspiring post, kimy.

RL Bourges said...

boy, this is not my day for comments. I meant Joan, NOT Sister Harriet. sheesh...

RLB

Coffee Messiah said...

Nicely done......there's the African American Museum in Ft Wayne, been trying to raise enough money for years for exhibits etc. As you know, any work like this is very hard and $$$ is just as hard to get anymore
; (

Here's hoping!

Lover of Life said...

Very cool. Loved the first picture, especially.

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I like Mavis' cover of the tune and just about anything she and her family ever recorded.