One Eye on The Memphis Women's March, January 21, 2017


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Among the thousands who turned out on Saturday for the Memphis Women's March was my daughter Rose Baker, who took some shots of the event, starting at the D'Army Bailey Courthouse and ending at the National Civil Rights Museum.

The pictures speak for themselves, though a special word should be said for the final picture in the accompanying slideshow, in which Rose found a way to involve in the event most of her immediate family (most of the Memphis portion of it, anyhow) — including her late mother, my late wife Linda Baker. Just see.

This was American history and the American political process at work, and I couldn't be prouder of the artist. Below are her notes on the event:

"Since the election results rolled in announcing Donald Trump as our new president, I've heard many people say they are scared of what the future holds for minority groups in the United States. Today at the Women's March in downtown Memphis, over 3,000 people gathered to show that we the people are greater than fear.

"We gathered as one at the D'Army Bailey Courthouse in a sea of signs showcasing the wide variety of causes that brought all of us — people of all kinds — to march together today. Images of uteri on posterboard demanded reproductive rights for women, and Princess Leia signs affirmed that a woman's place is in the resistance.

"Photos of black lives lost to violence, signs written in Spanish encouraging equality through education, and a poster of a woman wearing an American Flag hijab reminded us that we must all work together to provide for the safety, well-being, and equality of all people everywhere.

"Our numbers and voices grew as we marched through downtown. Tourists who came to Memphis expecting Elvis souvenirs and Beale Street beers instead found camaraderie and community as together we proclaimed, 'Black lives matter!'

"Downtown residents looked out from their windows and encouraged us while employees of local businesses along our route joined our chants of 'No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here!' Together we cheered for equal rights for all, for acceptance, for love over hate, and -- because this is Memphis -- we cheered for the smell of BBQ as we passed the Rendezvous.

"We finished today's walk at the National Civil Rights Museum, but our march does not end there. We must continue to show up and march for what we believe in every day. We must participate in local elections and tell our elected representatives what we the people deserve and demand. Together we are strong and we are greater than fear. Together we can make change.

"Remember what we chanted together today:  'This is what democracy looks like.'"


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