By NATE MORRIS
It snowed in Alabama this week. For the first time since before the Civil War, the slopes and fields of the South were blanketed before winter could even arrive.
The morning after the fresh snow, Alabamians awoke to a world transformed into something new. A place of stillness – of quiet – of peace. A place seemingly unexplored and limitless in its possibilities.
In the wake of the unlikely storm, as the ground thawed and the mild, late fall air returned, the people of the state were left with a choice:
Would they choose to thrust their home back into the bowels of an evil past, or would they choose to fight against hate and make it into something new?
On a hot August day in 1963, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave mention to the state in his most famous speech:
“I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
Not in a generation has there been so pivotal a political moment in ensuring the protection of King’s dream across the state as this one, and the people – especially Black women – rose with fervor to meet the moment.
Across the state, in community centers and churches, in schools and city halls, in living rooms and at kitchen tables, Black Alabamians fought tirelessly against the hatred and bigotry that desperately grasped to retain its foothold in the state.
They attacked evil with a fierce and violent love.
They mobilized a movement in the face of continued suppression.
They stood in the gap.
Because of them, Doug Jones, a man who brought the evil of the KKK to trial and who has fought for justice and civil rights for all people during his entire career will become the next US Senator from the state of Alabama.
Because of them, all people in Alabama now have a voice and an advocate in the most powerful legislative office in the nation.
Because of them, the makeup of the Senate has changed, and the ability to protect this nation against devastating legislation has been strengthened.
Because of them, we can. Because of them, we will.
Today, down in Alabama, the historic snows continue to melt, and the state is once again transformed into something new:
A place where justice rolls down like water.
A place where hate has no home.
A place where light drives out darkness.
Down in Alabama, love won.
In 11 months, we must make sure it wins again.
Nate Morris is a contributor to the Black Wall Street Times. Nate was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area and moved to Tulsa in 2012 after graduating from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2015. Nate is a Teach for America alumnus and has worked in schools throughout the Tulsa area. He is an advocate for educational equity as well as racial and social justice throughout Tulsa and the nation as a whole.