From the assistant editor

Great day

Wed, 06/22/2022 - 8:45am

Especially in the warmer months when more events happen, we cover them every week, each important for its cause, attendees’ enjoyment, or often both. One in Wiscasset Friday had a lot going for it – attendance, sun and the cause of celebrating the life and legacy of a major civil rights advocate from nearly a century ago, whose causes are still relevant and whose works can still teach, support and inspire Americans.

But I have to say, due to all that and attendees’ and speakers’ enthusiasm and the timely and timeless messages, something unique or at least rare was going on, probably akin to a sermon but I am still processing it.

Maybe it was State Sen. Craig Hickman’s comment about Maine being the whitest state but people only caring about what a person does; or Portland Poet Laureate Maya Williams’ stating in a poem, white supremacists would like black people to be dead, or the facial expressions and movements with which Linda Ashe-Ford interpreted James Weldon Johnson’s writing, or any of the almost countless other moments that made Friday memorable and important and one of my hardest stories in decades for fear I would not do it justice, but the day remains with me, a little more so and differently than so many other wonderful events in the region. 

They are no less important or worthy of coverage, but what happened Friday in Wiscasset I just don’t recall happening around here before. And that was part of the point of its being held.

The also good news is plans call for celebrations to continue after this year’s. Hopefully the world will be a little brighter on a lot of fronts each time James Weldon Johnson Day comes around on his birthday June 17 and Juneteenth, two days later, although I am not sure on the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Day in town, where he died when traveling through in 1938, there could have been room for any more hope, for it filled the room and that spot on the common where attendees surrounded and touched the memorial bench Dusty Jones built. 

Then again, if hate, as my grandfather would say, is an acid which destroys its container, then maybe hope, by contrast, expands a vessel.