You know how geeked I was to meet John Lewis? I put on a damn tie. You can’t tell by the time the pic was taken, but I put on ties for when I need to be a “Look The Part All-Star Political Operative.” With a matching Blue or White button up shirt, dark wash of jeans and some brown shoes (S/o to my Pod Saves America folks, y’all know the vibes), I headed down to one of my hallowed halls, the museum where I began my first internship. As I get to the corner near the museum’s entrance, and to my back I slowly began to hear a group of loud, jubilant middle-school aged tourists approaching me at the same corner.
I will always give the middle schoolers tourists waiting for me outside near the museum the SigelFace, because they’re looking at bootleg MAGA hats. Its a summer ritual I always loved to take part in. Nevermind them, I finally got back to the place where it all started.. The place where I got to connect with friends who’ve known me since I was 15 years old. They just met a shy ass kid from the burbs who just was a History nerd. On that day, John Lewis was there to talk with the program that brought Black & Brown students from the “Urea” (I just started to learn my own lingo, kick rocks) on how history repeats itself and what our responsibilities are in those moments.
See, if you read his book, watched his documentary or happened to have heard him speak in the last 4 years, he always brought up getting into “Good Trouble”. That “Good Trouble”, was easy for us young people to understand, cus we “With the Shits.” It’s all about not letting any of that respectability nonsense get in your way of getting shit done for your people. I recalled stories about all the people who thought John Lewis was “WILDING” when they saw him cross the bridge in 1965 Selma. That same energy is used to talk about people leading uprisings since the murder of George Floyd. Trouble, Good Trouble. With Rona on the loose, and Civil Rights Icons retiring from the front lines, I am glad I get to keep making that Good Trouble.
PS.. If you’re about making that “Good Trouble,” why not really, think through Reparations then?
Our conversation with Law Professor and Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at the Howard University School of Law Justin Hansford is just a taste of the Good Trouble. Reparations is a tricky subject, but as we explored, it was great to think through establishing tangible ways to change our community. (Eps: “Paying for our own reparations w/ Prof. Justin Hansford” & Special Episode with Professor Justin Hansford pt. 2″)