REMARKABLE: adjective. re·mark·able \ri-ˈmär-kə-bəl\
worthy of being or likely to be noticed especially as being uncommon or extraordinary
Let me see if I can tell this story, as plainly as possible, because it is remarkable:
Over a month ago there was a Black Lives Matter vigil in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain where I live. The vigil is hosted by clergy and it happens every month, on the first Thursday on the lawn of the First Baptist Church.
That particular July night, we were gathered to bear witness in public to the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. We stood out on the main street of the neighborhood with signs and our bodies. We were young and old, black, white and multi-racial.
Laura Ruth Jarrett, my friend and mentor and the Pastor of Hope Central Church, posted a video of our standing out. Two days later, it had been viewed over 200,000 times. Then 300,000. Then 600,000. And on and on. As of today, the video has been viewed 1.3 million times. It has been shared 4,339 times. (It also turns out, Laura Ruth’s video was re-posted by Baller Alert where it has 8.2 million views and over 15,000 comments.)
To me, there was nothing remarkable about our witness, our signs, our presence – but that is probably because I have spent over half my life knowing about white racial justice community and activism. Yet for the mostly black people remarking in the comments of Laura Ruth and Baller Alert’s posts, this action caught on video is remarkable.
The video has been shared so many times because it has been “noticed as being uncommon.”
It is unusual and surprising to see people standing out in the neighborhood with these signs.
It turns out our action that evening was extraordinary to millions of people.
Showing up for racial justice is remarkable. And yes, it took me a video posted on Facebook to really learn that.
Let us remember we only have to do the thing that we can do, and to trust that it just might be remarkable.