A SILENT PROTEST FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY.
SUNDAY, June 7th at 2PM The United Missionary Baptist Association of New York City and Vicinity staged a Freedom March with ecumenical clergy, parishioners and the community. The President of the United Missionary Baptist Association Reverend Anthony Lowe, Pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church organized several key Ministers, Imams, Clergy, Parishioners and the Community gathering at the steps of Convent Avenue Baptist Church to march across 145th Street, down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and culminating at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building at 125th. On the steps of the great Convent Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Reverend Calvin O. Butts Pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church delivered opening remarks welcoming all the Churches from the United Missionary Baptist Association, representatives from the Mosques of Brother Talib, the 100 Black Men, Nursing Home and Rehab Center Residents, the Sigma Fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority among others, the Community and our Congressional Representative Adriano Espaillat. Dr. Reverend Jesse Williams, Pastor of the renowned Convent Avenue Baptist Church lead all in a powerful prayer of purpose prior to the commencement of the historic “Harlem” Freedom March. The crowd swelled to 2,000 plus marching silent and strong through the streets of Harlem in “No Ways Tired”. Ministers from Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, Riverside Church and Union Baptist Church were among the many congregations who participated in this silent peaceful landmark “Harlem” Freedom March.
At the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Imam Yusuf Hasan, of the Malcolm Shabazz Mosque, Chaplin and Director of the renowned African American Day Parade ushered the Clergy Leaders through the crowd to the inner circle where they spoke to the masses encouraging an end to Police violence, demanding Police accountability, freedom, justice and equality for the “Harlem” community and justice for Georg Floyd and all the Blacks murdered at the hands of Police in America. Dr. Reverend Charles Curtis, Pastor of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, President of the Interfaith Commission on Housing Equality and President of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater New York and Vicinity prayed us in. We were welcomed with a powerful speech by Reverend Anthony Lowe, Pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, the organizer and President of United Missionary Baptist Association. Brief hope filled words of truth from the Clergy in attendance including Dr. Reverend Calvin O. Butts, Pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church were preached. Dr. Reverend Butts introduced Dr. Akil of the Muslim Community, followed by a powerful young Minister Lakesha Davis and a young teenage man who raised his fist and stated “Black Lives Matter”.” Finally Dr. Reverend Helen Wingate, Pastor of The Greater Faith Baptist Church of the Bronx, spoke echoing the message “Black Lives Matter”. All clergy who spoke promised that this “Harlem” Freedom March is just the beginning in assuring the community, “Stays Woke” and is ready for the next steps of leadership and planning by this great ecumenical group of clergy. This “Harlem” Freedom March was reminiscent of the 60’s and a call for justice in the wake of the Murders of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others known and unknown.
The “Harlem” Community sprawled across the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building (African Square) Plaza with a myriad of signs chanting “No Justice No Peace, “I Can’t Breath” and “Get Your Foot Off Our Neck” America. These chants and cries echo 400 years of Pandemic for Black people in America as they struggle to fight two viruses, Covid 19 and the “Pathology of Racism” amidst President Donald Trump waging war against the American People. This is a somber time as the war against the Pandemic of Covid 19 and Racism goes world wide as do the protest.
Wednesday of last week on the same Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building (African Plaza), Congressman Adriano Espaillat rolled out his 10 Point, “Harlem Manifesto”. On Thursday, the very next day, Assembly Member Reverend Al Taylor hosted a Press Conference with the Black, Latino, and Asian Legislative Caucus standing against Police Brutality and initiating new legislation “with teeth” and no loop holes for the rogue Policing. Caucus speakers included Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brian Benjamin, Council Member Mark Levine, Assembly Member Inez Dickens, Assembly Member Carmen DeLarosa, Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou and NAACP President Hazel Dukes to mention a few. Harlem Matters – Keep Harlem Alive. “So goes Harlem, So Goes the World”.