There are two major events that continuity compels me to relate:
1. Minister Clemson Brown Memorial Ceremony
2. Traveling & Thinking out loud with the People’s Pastor
First, I will relate or record the memorial ceremony that happened just last Saturday, September 23, 2023. The memorial was a moving experience of joy and sadness. There were glowing praises for Minister Clemson Brown by all of the fourteen speakers. I was asked to be the moderator, of course I thought I did a good job, after all I had to negotiate all these superstars and performers.
The welcome was delivered by Rev. Dr. Karen Daughtry, Pastor of the House of the Lord Church who recounted the history of the church and it being the center, the gathering place for the Black power, Pan Africanist, Nationalist movement in the 70s and 80s.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament with comments was read by Elder Alphonso Martin Sr., Unity Church, Woodbridge, VA.
Libations for Minister Clemson Brown and our ancestors, Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa. In addition to being moderator I was asked to do a tribute which I did most of which I have already posts and newspaper articles. Among the speakers were Councilman Charles Barron and his wife, former Council member Inez Barron, Rev. Dr. Garett Johnson, Pastor of Black Liberation Church. There were African drummers and dancers followed by more speakers, Michael Graves, Co-Founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement; Special solo by Sis. Peggy Washington, longtime member of our church who was both activist and artist in the movement years ago; Graham Witherspoon, the Amadou Diallo foundation and Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Elder Cortez L. Stallings, Jr., Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Brooklyn. All the way from Cobb County, Glenn Duncan Brody, Jr., Clemson Jr. Was the last speaker. Instrumentalist music was supplied by T.C. Saxman, a saxophonist. I was asked to do closing remarks. Now it was about 5:30pm and we had started at 2pm. I only thanked everyone for participating and paid special tribute to the family and I took the occasion to talk about climate change and the conference I attended last week.
I knew people were weary but thought that the issue of climate change was of such importance that I should at least mention it. I invited people to register their interest in a series of workshops on climate change that I am proposing to arrange in the near future.
Traveling and Thinking out Loud with the People’s Pastor
Funeral of Ellen Richardson
On Friday, September 15th we funeralized one of our oldest and dearest member Ellen Richardson. The funeral was in Hempstead, New York. Ellen Richardson had joined our church about fifty years ago in a very peculiar way, which spoke to the diversity of our ministry. She called our church for help with her son. We had a 24-hour prayer line at the time. She decided to attend our church service. When the service was over, the person she met was my wife, Dr. Karen S. Daughtry, now the pastor. They remained great friends from that day till the day she died although she had moved several times to different cities, but we never lost contact. There were people coming from far away like Augusta, GA and the Carolinas to attend her funeral. The rest of the day my wife and I spent reminiscing on Sis. Richardson, in fact, Deacon Richardson, I ordained her a deacon. In the evening, we decided to spend a delightful time, as much as we could, at our favorite restaurant.
But the day of emotional disturbance had not ended.
When I returned home, I discovered my storm door had been kicked in. Glass was shattered all over the stoop. Obviously, I was reluctant to go into the house, but when I discovered that the front door was still locked, I reasoned if someone was inside, they didn't go through the front door. So, I went into the house and no one had been inside. I called the police to investigate and make note of what had happened. They could find no force of entry. We suggested that the wasps who had setup along the storm door had angered someone to the extent that they were enraged kicked the storm door and broke the glass. The next day we had the pest control people to take care of the nest and spray all around the house. My concern was that there was other vandalism. The back window of my car had been broken by a brick thrown through it. Thus, I immediately put the two together. I had marchers in front of my home. But I’m glad to report that all seems to end well.
After breakfast we spent the day on the telephone reading and writing, preparing for the big event in the evening. It was the second anniversary for Eric Garner. It was held in Staten Island, NY at the Pavilion on the Terrace. It was a beautiful place; everything was artistically arranged. I understand its owned by a Black woman. The event was sponsored by Mrs. Carr and family. MC was none other than Rev. Ben Chavers. He was the youngest of the Wilmington Ten, as they were called, and received a long sentence and finally when he was released, he continued the struggle. We have known each other since the time he was released and we have fought many battles together.
Speakers included: New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Manhattan District Attorney of African Ancestry, Alvin Braggs, and I made remarks. I said, Rev. Chavers counted 28 mothers and a father present. As much as I would like to, I will not start calling names and I said all of you are Superstars. I related how I came by the term as an unofficial chaplain for the New York Jets, professional football team. I asked myself the question, what makes Superstars. All the players are professionals at that level. But what makes one player super special and I came to the conclusion that not only on the football field, but in life, Superstars can perform their duties at a high level of efficiency while in pain. I related how one of my favorite players was Winston Hill who was having challenges, but played his usual effective game. So, I said to the mothers, all of you are Superstars, while you’re hurting, you’re helping. Why do superstars play hurt? I asked myself, because they know people are depending on them. In football Winston Hill knew that his teammates were depending on him and he knew that the fans/supporters were depending on him and he had to do his best regardless of the pain. And so, you mothers, while hurting is still trying to make sure that others will have to endure the pain that you’re feeling. Jesus Christ was/is the Ultimate Superstar; He was a wounded healer as you mothers are wounded healers.
Mrs. Sybrina Fulton was the spokesperson for the mothers, she said, “I hope you came to celebrate. Don’t come to us with tears or feeling sorry for us, we’re here to celebrate.” And then she said something I think we should all strive for especially those who are in the helping business. She said, “we’re not supposed to act the way we feel.” Obviously, what she meant is although we are in pain, we’re not supposed to let our pain cause others to be sad and to cry.