“Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.”—Wikipedia
Last year held some memorable moments for me, but near the end of the year, things came pretty close to unforgettable.
First, Alycia Bridges, a talented high school senior and member of my church, was invited to a private gathering of twenty young women who sat down with former first lady Michelle Obama at her alma mater, Whitney Young High School, Chicago.
In her new book, “Becoming” Mrs. Obama discusses, among other things, what it was like to grow up in Chicago and attend Whitney Young H. S.
A motivational and inspirational guide for young women everywhere, “Becoming” shares how Michelle Obama motivated herself to succeed through faith, focus, and purpose.
Next that evening, the girls were guests at the United Center where Oprah Winfrey interviewed Mrs. Obama on the first leg of her “Becoming” book tour. The girls capped the night with a guest appearance on Fox News to discuss the day’s events. What an opportunity for a fabulous young woman. Congratulations Alycia.
On a cold evening in November, a couple hundred of our church members attended a private premier showing of the movie Widows, starring Viola Davis. The production company shot scenes in our church in 2017 and our members were paid extras in the movie. (When you watch the movie, we’re the church with the beautiful blue seats—Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Chicago).
Widows is the story of four women who, out of desperation, complete a robbery thought out by Viola Davis’ husband, played by Liam Neeson. The story is well plotted and has its moments of excitement and suspense.
We cheered and applauded as everyone’s faces appeared on the screen. The church looked beautiful, and overall, we were pleased with the R-rated movie. I hope you get a chance to watch it. Our elder member, Alrine Rucker, was selected to play Ms. Davis’ mother in the movie.
Church isn’t all I do, but at the end of last year it seemed the most impactful events revolved around it. The last event to make it on my list was a heartbreaker.
After church service in November, as I stood chatting with friends about a gifted young musician, Jemell Roberson, we were informed that Mr.Roberson had been killed. In the wee hours of that very morning, a police officer had shot him outside a nightclub where Mr. Roberson worked as a security guard.
That previous evening a gunman had opened fire in the nightclub, wounding two patrons. Mr. Roberson, our musician, returned fire and subdued the suspect. He was on the ground, holding his captive, when police officers swarmed in.
According to witnesses, one of the officers shot the security guard before determining who he was. The police have since ruled that Jemell Roberson was a hero who saved many lives that Saturday night.
Is this another case of “holding a gun while black”? The young man’s shirt was clearly emblazoned with the word “Security” and he was licensed to carry his firearm. Though he followed all the rules, he still leaves behind a fiancé and a child.
As I go through this new year, I’ll be on the lookout for more people in the news, hopefully with more positive interactions than negative. We’re all just six people away from the news. Maybe I’ll see you!