Morning Song – Amazing Grace
It is in the nature of movements like Black Lives Matter and Cosecha that they are made up disproportionately of 1) young people who are 2) acutely and painfully aware of the insidiously pervasive depths of ugliness and injustice, 3) both within the individual human soul and in the massive institutions that sustain and/or dominate human society.
Which is why the struggle for justice is inextricably bound up with the search for beauty. Because an unending diet of ugliness and injustice quickly and inevitably leads to despair, and to the snuffing out of the spark that lit those movements. Without beauty—and its siblings: joy, love and hope—there is no sustained action for change.
All of which is a roundabout way of getting to the following point: young activists could do a lot worse than adopting their spiritual grandparents Joan Baez and Aaron Neville (backed by the Neville Brothers) singing “Amazing Grace” for Amnesty International—not as an anthem for their movements (because it’s not that), but as a balm for their spirits after another hard-fought battle.