The Dream at the World Beat Center

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Makeda Dread

Photos: Nadin and Tom Abbott

Jan. 19, 2016 (San Diego) Children of all skin colors, and origins danced together to the beat of Jamaican music at the World Beat Center. The image of Doctor Martin Luther King was on the screen, with some of his words. The children, with no care in the world, danced together.

This was part of the dream, and in some small way it was realized today. Children danced together with no care to creed, or color of skin. When we talked with Makeda Dread, she runs the World Beat Center, she told Reporting San Diego: “Martin Luther King day is freedom. Freedom for everyone on this planet.

Makeda added that “blacks are an endangered species, they always have been. Dr. King’s struggle is our struggle. It is the same struggle.” She added, “with the things happening in Mexico, the deportees and immigrants and all those things, it is for all of us to come together, black white, red, yellow, it’s a oneness. It is happening all over the world.”

This is a time when “whites are not taking it either,” and “young people see injustice, and injustice affects all of us. Ferguson is just an outcome of what has been going on for a long time.”

She spoke of a new era of enlightenment, when “we all need to stand up together.” What is holding us back is consumerism and we all can get along with a lot less. Makeda made a direct reference to the micro housing movement, people choosing to live in much smaller homes, for the betterment of the world and themselves. This is liberating, since having less things means one can work better in the world.

Makeda also said “there is one race actually, and that is the human race.” When later she emceed the event, she introduced Danza Colibri by acknowledging the tribes in San Diego, and the Kumeyaii people, who where and are the original Americans of San Diego County and northern Baja California. Makeda also acknowledged the first people of north America when she introduced Windwaker, the people of the Caribbean, and others who have come to this land.

Antonyio Powell

Antonyio Powell

We talked to Antonyio Powell, who later danced with the Junkyard Crew about the dream as well. To Powell, Martin Luther King day means “being free, not having to deal with racism and not having to deal with all the drama.”

We spoke a little about the violence last year, and he is hoping this year will be better. He also does not expect to see the end of racism in his lifetime (we hope he does.) I asked him if he expects to have to have the talk that many African American and Hispanic parents have with their sons when they enter their teens years, about what do when dealing with the police. He sincerely hopes he does not have to have that conversation, beyond the how things used to be.

Powell also said that he believes things “are better now than they were before.” He chiefly hopes that things continue to get better. He also hopes that this coming year is not as crazy as it was last year.

Reporting San Diego also spoke with Gloria Verdieu of The Committee Against Police Brutality. They were there on an outside table doing some outreach with community members. One of their goals is to get a Civilian Review Board that has teeth, and who’s members are voted on by the community.

Essentially they want accountability and community control.

They were at the event to “raise awareness about knowing your rights when dealing with the police.” Verdieu added that “we pay our tax dollars for the police, so we feel we should be able to monitor the police, we should be able to indict the police, we should be able to decide disciplinary action, training all those things that come with how the community relates to the police.”

Reporting San Diego asked about changes due to what happened last year with Ferguson and other events. Verdieu said “changes are needed nationwide. San Diego’s changes might have to be slower, but San Diego’s biggest problem is with the Border Patrol. Police brutality too, curfew sweeps, and how they relate to people.”

Inside the beat was intense, and people joined the Colibri Dance Group, as well as Windwalker, and others in dancing. Over the course of the few hours we spent, easily 1000 people came and went. It was a family friendly event. While we spoke of serious issues with organizers and participants, children dancing together with no care in the world was a beautiful thing to see.

Editor’s note: We are having some issues with web stability, so we will post the video as soon as that is possible.

Update, Here is the video

Twitter: @nadinbrzezinski

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Categories: civil rights, MLK Day, Police Accountablity

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