In the more than sixty years of our fruitful collaboration I don't think Connie Curry and I ever had an occasion to discuss religion. We didn't need to, because we believed the words of the spiritual, "Everybody talkin' about heaven ain't gwine there!"
Rather it was our shared commitment to envision and build more of a "Beloved Community" here on earth open to all those inspired to belong, and let that work of our hands and hearts speak for us as a secular faith on tomorrow.
It is my fervent belief that long into the Black-Lives-Matter future there will be more like her with their hands still on the plow holding on throughout their many days, living by her unsung example of the high possibilities born of purposeful obscurity for greater causes.
It was an ironic send-off for her in her last month that the long-standing emblem of Dixie's hateful stars-and-bars was finally removed from the state flag of Mississippi like she had editorially promised Aaron Henry it would be in the pages of the Atlanta Constitution decades before.
Now let us all sing and rejoice and Look Away, Look Away to that New Day that Connie helped pave toward an ultimate reality. That is a fitting epitaph enough for her and for all of us who would seek to become a Beloved Community, inspired by our better angels to keep on keeping on'.
As C.T. Vivian and John Lewis would say: There is no price too great to pay and no pain too deep to suffer for the rewards of freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom from boundaries set by our enemies and our own low expectations for ourselves.
What we celebrate today is the miracle of a little seedling called Connie who blossomed into a mighty tree offering fruit and shelter that would not have existed without the seeds of her imagination, courage, and persistence as well as the refreshing dews of her humor.
Thanks and So Long, Constance, we'll see you on the other side! — Our SNCC family was more than a connection, it was a covenant that shall never be broken.
Timothy L. Jenkins
A Fellow SNCC Seeker
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Copyright © Timothy Jenkins, 2020
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