My Brother, My Sister

Legacy is a funny thing. There is immediately something expected of you. Your name carries the soul of your people and the weight of history. Some can’t handle it. Some carry the torch into the future.

Perhaps what society really needs is for us to honor the legacy of the giants of history but allow room for the next movement makers. Honor the legacy of those past but build our own. Walk in the footsteps of giants but trample our own path.

Siyabulela Mandela was born in to a legacy that is bigger than himself or his country and he knows it. He is quickly getting international recognition for carrying the torch of peace that was lit by his great grandfather Nelson Mandela and those who came before him.

Movement making is complicated. We’re crying for well led movements in 2019. We will never make sense to each-other on Twitter. It’s not possible. Making sense takes time. Movements take time. Madiba’s great grandfather was a masterful movement maker. After what would feel like a life-time on Robben Island, Nelson forgave his jailers. He forgave them for a reason. Mandela understood that there is something that comes after oppression and conflict. After war-time there is peace and peace requires forward momentum. We must honor the past but look forward. MLK was on this level. MLK very intentionally deployed the words ‘brother’ and ‘sister.’ White or Black, you became family. The color of your skin can’t change but your ideas can. Mandela and MLK were master movement makers.

If some are oppressed, we are all oppressed. Siyabulela’s message is clear: if some are oppressed, we are all oppressed. Mandela’s movement goes far beyond the borders that divide a continent and it’s people. If we can’t address global problems we can’t possibly clean our own room. If some are oppressed, we are all oppressed.

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