The Gabriel Week event provided me new insight to what the project was about and what it was going to be like. The Reverend, the march and shuffle, the meditation circle, and the community coming together created a great experience for me.
The Reverend, or the women who did most of the speaking provided disturbing knowledge such as, “Most of the lynchings were state functioned”. She also provided nourishing information such as, “Our ancestors can be commemorated and live through our bodies as we dance and not just as statues”.
The march and shuffle that was taught to us was very powerful and unifying. Everyone was able to do the movements, so professional dancers and community members with no technical training could stand as one for a good cause. We traveled through the burial ground up into the streets where cars passing by could see us. The cars were honking as they drove passed us. At first, I felt insecure as the cars were honking because people generally honk when they feel anger or fear. However, I finally realized that they were honking to support what we were doing.
At the end of the ceremony, we participated in a meditation circle which made me feel in-tune with myself and spirits near me. It was a beautiful and important addition to the event. I felt that the meditation added a peaceful aspect to the event which could have brought out anger and sorrow.
I want to keep learning about the event and the history behind it so that I can inform others about it. Also, I want to be informed of other areas that have been neglected under the state and how we can commemorate those areas.