By Tanya Wilson
One of my favorite songs is a classic by Sam Cooke, “A Change Gonna Come.” The words of the song have ringed true so many times in my life journey. During difficult times when I didn’t understand the inconsistencies that life would sometimes produce, I’d find myself singing softly the hook, “a change gonna come!” The announcement of the Democratic National Convention being hosted in Charlotte in 2012 holds particular significance for me.
Over 25 years ago, my family and me lived in Charlotte for a period of about three years. At the time we were coming from another state for a then work assignment. Saturdays were my catch up days following a long work week. On Saturday morning I would look forward to hitting Independence ave because it seemed to offer everything that I needed. The convenience of the grocery store, cleaners and let’s not leave out the nail salon, was great. I guess you could say it became my stomping ground. I was comfortable there.
Our family lived in the area of Sardis Road which meant that most of my in and out travel was via Independence avenue. One Saturday when I was returning from my nail and errand trip, I was suddenly stopped by traffic on Independence. In the distance, I could only see a lot of colors and movement. I was in a hurry to get home to begin cooking and straightening up and traffic and a parade was the last thing I was in the mood for. As I moved along in the line of traffic, I realized that what I thought was a parade, was actually the Klu Klux Klan stopping cars in full robes handing out literature.
I was 29 at the time and certainly knew of the organization. I could not believe that in the middle of the day, something like this could be happening at the traffic light. I had only seen boys and girls clubs or firemen associations command that space.
When I heard the announcement about the DNC this week, I flashed back to sitting in my car alone on Independence Avenue scared. Now, I was witnessing the change I have often sung about.
James 1:1-27 is a powerful scripture that comes to mind. This announcement is a living example of a steadfast and unmovable commitment of faith. Double mindedness could not be a factor if success was expected. There is no place for human anger which does not produce desired results. Wisdom had to prevail, with our leaders being quick to listen and slow to speak. This level of success, as well as, other evidence of growth in the city, could not be possible without a targeted vision that doesn’t look back, but has the faith to move forward.