Black reactions to white oppression has taken many forms over the past 400 years. Sustained systematic and violent oppression has led to countless individual acts of resistance. But the most common reactions have come in the form of protests. Black creative artists have produced protest poems and Black protest plays. Black writer have given us Black protest novels. Musicians have created spirituals, work chants, prison songs and the blues. The Black press has often produced biting social satire and raised the consciousness of Black readers.
The tradition of Black protest continues today. Early in the morning on Sunday, January 8, 2023, Pastor Daniel Jackson led a small protest against bigotry and racial intolerance on the corner of East Cumberland and Cedar Street in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. Jackson, Pastor at New Kingdom Baptist Church, was riding his bike through that intersection earlier in the week when a white male threw a can of beer a him and shouted, “stay out my neighborhood.”
A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, Jackson had encountered restrictive, oppressive actions before. As Pastor of a growing congregation he felt compelled to use tried and true nonviolent methods to amplify his voice, challenge racial dynamics and press for change in that part of the city.
Surrounded by members of his congregation, Jackson recounted the episode in great detail. He explained the wide range of emotions he was forced to deal with as he rode his bike through that intersection. The protest drew in several members of the Fishtown community. Several young women emerged from their homes to listen and watch.
These neighbors indicated that they would review their surveillance cameras to see if they captured the incident. They also apologized for the manner in which Pastor Jackson was treated in their neighborhood.
After the protest, Pastor Jackson and the congregation headed to New Kingdom and had CHURCH!
Today was a good day in Philadelphia. Young Pastor Jackson is the latest in a long line of highly effective clergymen that have adopted non-violent protest as a means to address the scourge of racial intolerance.
God Bless Pastor Jackson and New Kingdom Baptist Church.