February 2, 2021

Let Us March On

Hope—because, in the night, God.

Adventist Review Editors

This month’s voices may be more readily heard in February. This may not be anyone’s ideal. But it is our opportunity to savor the timbre of their notes, sense the range of their interests, feel the passion of their truth, and more closely attend to the humanity of their wisdom: Listen, then, to voices that find hope because, in the night, God . . . . Listen to the voices of a handful of Black people.Editors.

“When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven.”

Harriet Tubman,
re 1849 escape from slavery

“Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of Liberty.”

James Weldon Johnson, 1899

“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?”

Sojourner Truth, 1851

“Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod, felt in the day that hope unborn had died; yet . . .”

James Weldon Johnson, 1899

“My log schoolhouse was gone. In its place stood progress; and progress, I understand, is necessarily ugly.”

W.E.B. Du Bois, 1903

“For every social ill, the panacea of wealth has been urged—wealth to overthrow the remains of the slave feudalism; wealth to raise the ‘cracker’ Third Estate; wealth to employ the black serfs, and the prospect of wealth to keep them working; wealth as the end and aim of politics, and as the legal tender for law and order; and, finally, instead of truth, beauty, and goodness, wealth as the ideal of the public school.”

W.E.B. Du Bois, 1903

“No . . .”

Rosa Parks, 1955

“Tell them about the dream, Martin.”

Mahalia Jackson, 1963

“We cannot walk alone,. . . we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back. . . .

I have a dream.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

James A. Baldwin, 1962

“You know, Barry, there are people in the world who think only about themselves. They don’t care what happens to other people so long as they get what they want. . . .

“Then there are people who do the opposite, who are able to imagine how others must feel, and make sure that they don’t do things that hurt people.

“So which kind of person do you want to be?”

Ann Dunham,
quoted by her son Barack Obama, 2020

“Let us march on . . .”

James Weldon Johnson, 1899