“The color of Grace has played the leading lady in the role of the rising and re-emergence of the Black Woman. To know the Truth of her walk is to learn that all lessons are equal. In her world, every element brings us a course of study. If we listen to its call, it loudly proclaims, ‘It matters not how we connect as we lay in our steps along each pathway, it matters how we build our roots’!”
Rev. Diahne Parsons
Loretta Lynch, who became this country’s first African American woman to be confirmed as U.S. Attorney General, is a prime example of what a strong will and determination can accomplish in America. Educated at Harvard University, acquiring a BA and then graduating from Harvard Law School with a JD, Lynch learned quickly how to lean in, stay fluid, and navigate the many moving parts and slippery slopes of a world predominantly reserved for whites males. Armed with a spirit that seemingly animates all moving parts, the former U.S. Attorney from Brooklyn, faced a grueling, drawn-out battle with Congress that took almost six months before the US Senate confirmed her as the first Black woman to lead the Justice Department. Urging her supporters to “Keep our minds and eyes on the prize”, Lynch stayed on course. Enduring her appointment after one of the longest confirmation processes that this nation has known in the last thirty years. With the final outcome being Loretta Lynch accepting her post as Madam Attorney General Lynch, on April 27, 2015.
Knowing some doors can only be opened from the inside, Lynch stated, “One can make a difference very quietly. It’s the choices that you make and the things that you’re willing to accept and not accept that define who you are.”
Daughter of a minister and civil rights leader, her father often put her on his shoulders and ferried her off to civil rights rallies. Emboldened by a schoolteacher mother who refused to use the “colored” water fountains in the segregated South, Lynch lived by this example – as seen in her first high profile case in 1999, whereas Lynch in the notorious Abner Louima trial stood firm and strongly condemned a white police officer.
“Aikido is the art of reconciliation…if you try to dominate people, you are already defeated.”
Aikido, Japanese Philosophy
In the ongoing effort to changing the narrative and working on the relationship between law enforcement and communities, Lynch asserted, “Everyone wants to be seen, everyone wants to be heard, and when people don’t really see them, there’s this moment of startled recognition, because everyone wants to be recognized as the person that they are and not a stereotype or an image [from the cop in a uniform to an individual within the color of their skin].”
Lynch states in her book “A Perilous Path Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law”…
“Looking at what we actually can change, the load-bearing wall for me I think would be continuing to push for significant criminal justice reform. I’ve been a prosecutor for over twenty years and what you prosecute and how you prosecute defines you as a society!”
My grandfather was a sharecropper and a minister. He built a church right next to his home. When Black People in rural North Carolina community got into trouble, “They would come to him and he would hide them from the sheriff, a man who knew him and probably understood what he was doing.” My grandfather was a moral man. He was a man of conviction in God. But for him, this was a bigger issue because he knew that if there was no fairness in how people were treated, and then there was no justice for anyone in that community.
Looking at the way in which we choose how we punish and whom we punish is fundamental to who we are!”
Born on May 21st, 1959, the former Chief law enforcement official quickly became a vocal force in the legal community. With a history rooted in civil rights and justice – her father hosting meetings for the Civil Rights Movement within the very basement of her childhood home – during her tenure Lynch followed suit by championing the rights of the oppressed and those whose voices are sometimes unheard.
Over the course of Lynch’s tenure, we witness the alchemizing of both her fierce-mindedness and true valor during a time of civil unrest and crimes against humanity.
“What we are really seeing, which we have not seen in fifty years, is the peeling away of the role of government – the move away from protecting of the disenfranchised, the move away from speaking to those who don’t have a voice, the moving away from lifting up people who have been pushed down and a move toward being a participant in all of that.”
Lynch further stated, “So we have a situation where the Department of Justice steps away from one of the clearest examples of intentional discrimination, this is in the record – statements about not wanting certain types of people or certain political views to votes: this is the antithesis of America.”
She further stated, “I think we are at a point where the importance of organizations such as The Legal Defense Fund, is playing a more vital role than ever before.” She emphasized, “The importance of the individual voice cannot be overstated. The only way we can achieve is when individuals came together and spoke out, during times when winning seemed impossible! Take heart. The plaintiffs in Brown never thought they were going to win that case! That’s just the reality of it.”
“This moment humanity is going through can now be seen as a portal and as a hole. The decision to fall into the hole or go through the portal is up to you. Do not lose the spiritual dimension of this crisis.”
White Eagle, Hopi Tribe
As of this writing, August 30, 2020, as we celebrate “Black August” and its significance of honoring Black Freedom Fighters, we are reminded that we are the keepers of our legacy. We will never forget the sacrifices made for us. We are the fiber of the very symbiotic fluid of the times we are witnessing. We are it and it is us. This makes us fluid and timeless all at the same time. We are pivotal, like a prism. As with any crystal, it is in how you cast the light that directs how you shine. Former US (AG) Loretta Lynch continues to cast her light in the birthing of a nation.
By Rev. Diahne Parsons