Kaepernick, Kavanaugh, Nike, and Unpaid Labor Day 2018
The Old Courthouse
Slaves were bought and sold here
Expanson to the west sparked the Civil War
An estimated 400 people attended the inaugural Unpaid Labor Day event on September 3, 2018 in downtown St. Louis, MO. From the east portico of the Old Courthouse on the grounds of the Gateway Arch, tribute was paid to the first 12 generations of African Americans. Peter Wood, PhD and Deirdre Cooper Owens, PhD educated and enlightened us about the importance of getting the history right. They told us who the people were. They told us how important they are. They told us why it made sense to hold the tribute to them at the Gateway National Park.
The African drummers from the Sunshine Cultural Arts Center in East St. Louis, IL. were magnificent. 12 bells that sounded for each of 12 generations was moving. Sandranetta Colemen's tribute as an ancestor named Hattie was enthralling. The Shalom Church choir under the direction of Dello Thedford was inspirational. Rev. Dr. J. Freddie Clark challenged us to use the vote to help the "under paid", and Pastor Doyle Roth prayed for unity and understanding led by grace. Jade Harrell of One Rare Gem (oneraregem.com) kept it moving with an energy and sensitivity that were infectious.
And then there was C-Quig. His handle is C-Quigrapstar and he is. This talented 16-year old closed the show (some would say he stole it) as a star should by performing "We Made America Great" - a rap he created just for the occasion.
There was a lot competing for the nation's interest on the first Unpaid Labor Day in its history. A kneeling athlete, an iconic sports brand, a supreme court nomination, and more. But in our hearts and minds nothing competed with paying tribute to the Unpaid Laborers that "Made America Great."