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4 Reasons to March for Racial Justice 4 Reasons to March for Racial Justice

4 Reasons to March for Racial Justice

Last week I joined the OneRace March On Atlanta. An estimated 6,000 people of different ethnicities gathered in Centennial Olympic Park to join their voices in the national conversation around race and justice. After worshipping for an hour, we marched from there to the Georgia capitol bui…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

4 Reasons to March for Racial Justice

Last week I joined the OneRace March On Atlanta. An estimated 6,000 people of different ethnicities gathered in Centennial Olympic Park to join their voices in the national conversation around race and justice.

After worshipping for an hour, we marched from there to the Georgia capitol building.

Why do we march? What does a march accomplish? We have different reasons. Here are a few of mine:

1. A march coalesces people around an issue. 

Along the way, we chanted slogans like “Black lives matter!” For me it was a statement of a simple reality more than an endorsement of an organization. Of course they matter! As we engaged, those who have perhaps been marginally committed may have become more committed. It felt good to have others around us who were similarly committed to the issue of racial injustice.

2. It moves people from passivity to action. 

George Floyd was cruelly murdered. That act crystalized the impunity with which some policemen act. White people have largely been passive since MLK was killed over 50 years ago. I remember as a 10 year-old being so moved by his death that I wrote my first poem. But what have I done since? To sit back when young Black men are being killed by the police demanded action of some kind. Belief follows action. People tend to believe what they do.

3. It attracts media coverage.

A march moves the needle in the national conversation. People who didn’t care find themselves caring as they better understand the issues. Media shapes the conversation and moves opinion. Events like a march attract media. March On Atlanta was on the front of the Wall St. Journal the next day.

4. As Christians, we are called to gather and pray.

The OneRace march had a similar goal as many other marches for racial justice. But it was different in the focus on prayer and worship. March On Atlanta was a gathering of believers who believe the 1 Chronicles 7:14 call for prayer and humility will produce a response from almighty God.

How about you? Why do you march? Or why haven’t you yet?

Comments (4)

  • Seth,
    Thanks for letting us know about the March. I really was not sure I wanted to go because of all of the unrest and recent activity in Atlanta, but I do know that there are people hurting that need to know that their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ love them and are here for them. Also, this was just a huge prayer walk, so that’s always a good thing. Jesus and the Church is the answer to this. This March was amazing. The music and prayers and atmosphere looked like a bit of what heaven might look like. On the march to the capitol, we met a black family and spent the whole walk chatting with them and getting to know them. The wife is a 5th-grade teacher in a Christian school and we had a lot in common. They are amazing. We took a picture and are now texting. We don’t know what God has planned with this new relationship but are blessed by getting more connected with others in the family of God.

  • I read Jennifer‘s post and of course agree with her. Just after we entered and started walking toward the stage I told Jennifer that this is like a glimpse of what heaven will be like. I was so glad we went. As you know I grew up in Puerto Rico. I had many Hispanic friends, white friends, and black friends. In high school I played football with a lot of black guys. At Cal State University Long Beach I had black roommates, a roommate from Iran, one from Japan…I find it very offensive when people are racist against black people. I spend time reading social media and see a lot of things that people are doing to the black community and I went to the March because I wanted to make a difference. I really enjoyed that prayer time on Tuesday night behind the post office. Newlin’s testimony and prayer made the biggest impact in me since he had hurt by the police and now he is healing the police. I look forward to going to more of these sort of meetings.

  • That’s a good testimony, Cesar. You are a good friend to many and a minister to those who have been hurt in various ways.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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