Traveling from Fredrick to Annapolis I needed to take a detour around DC. At first I tried to drive through the city but traffic was gridlocked. As I made my way around the traffic I remembered that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial is being dedicated in Washington D.C. this Sunday, October 16th. I smiled because for the longest time it seemed Dr. King was gridlocked outside of Washington. He certainly knew something about having to take detours. Now, he is finally honored as he should always have been.
Thomas Fridich, the director of the Maryland Hall for creative arts in Annapolis, gave me a tour before the film was shown. I’ve been doing art since my earliest memories so I enjoyed that the Hall was a school. I was also impressed with the many gifted artists in residence. Tom was a great host and once again we had a great audience.
Since the Naval Academy is close, Tom was able to invite a professor with a Phd in middle eastern studies, who is also a Navy Captain, and another professor of Arabic studies who is also an Israeli. This made for a very interesting discussion at the end of the film. In their own ways they both expressed that it was nice to talk about nonviolence and all, but in the end nothing will change until there is sufficient political will among the leaders, which didn’t look like it was coming anytime soon.
For my part I believe they are underestimating the nonviolence movement, and I think the message in Little Town of Bethlehem is more encouraging than that No matter the color of your skin you have to be grateful that Dr. King never left equality in the hands of the politicians of his day. He took his message to the people and inspired change through a civil movement. The nonviolence movement put pressure on the political process to listen to the admonitions of humanity. Social movements start from the ground up because nothing is being done from the top down. Sometimes the thousands of people on the nonviolence journey toward equality and peace find themselves having to detour around the gridlock in DC to get where they need to go. It may take some time, as it did for Dr. King, but the world ends up better for it.
I may be just a filmmaker on the On Screen/In Person tour. But these thoughts make the drive a lot easier, and the journey more fulfilling.
Post by Jim Hanon, OSIP Touring Filmmaker
Top image via AP Photo, 2nd image via newsone.com