Imagining Common Justice

Above: Rapper Common performing from the heart.

By Ricardo A. Reyna | The kNOw Youth Media

Imagine a sea of faith as far as the eye can see.

Thousands of people crying, singing, dancing, laughing,and coming together despite differences and uncommon circumstances to fight for a common belief. The belief that justice can prevail for all and that juvenile and mass incarcerations can one day become obsolete.

A sea of thousands of people stand up for justice!

This is what the scene looked like this past Monday at Capitol Mall in Sacramento, CA as rapper Common held the Imagine Justice concert, bringing the fight for justice straight to the State Capitol’s front door by the thousands. It was a night of empowerment, encouragement and wisdom, as well as phenomenal art and musical performances by artists and performers such as the Syncopated LadiesAndra DayGoapeleJ Cole, and Common himself.  

J. Cole takes the stage.

Not only was the concert free for all who attended, but it shed light on the realities that we as people of color who come from underprivileged and low income environments have to face everyday. In the midst of all of the chaos going on in the world today, it brought many of those in attendance a moment of solace and hope that we, as a community, can one day make great changes in the world if we stand together as one and imagine justice for all who need it and deserve it.  

Andra Day’s stirring performance.

I personally was greatly inspired simply by the amount of people who attended. From where I stood and watched the concert unfold, there was an ocean of fans, local residents and social justice warriors all ready to receive the message of hope and the restoration of justice. From the start of the event I watched as an empty field with nothing but speakers, vendors and media teams, quickly transformed into one of the biggest concert crowds I have ever been a part of. People from all over California came together for one night to stand in solidarity for what is right, and it couldn’t have been said better than when singer Andra Day performed ‘Rise Up’ and sang the words:

“And I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day. I’ll rise up, I’ll rise unafraid. I’ll rise up, and I’ll do it a thousand times again”

The song spoke volumes and translated the emotions and thoughts of all who were in attendance. 

The energy that night was unmatched by anything I have seen in years of community action work. And, even though the event was held outside under the Sacramento skies, the performers most definitely could have blown the roof off the place. If there was one.

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