Photo by Paul Reitano

Walk to Freedom

I started Walk to Freedom in 2018 as a community partnership project with the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. The project I proposed, a type of performance art piece, involved walking from Selma, Alabama to Memphis, Tennessee, over 400 miles, to commemorate MLK50th. I wanted to put Movement back into the Civil Rights Movement. I also walked because hard earned Civil Rights enactments from the 1950s, 60s and 70s were being legally reversed and watered down on state and federal levels. I felt by walking I could speak to individuals and communities directly while raising awareness about the need to protect and preserve our civil liberties.

At the time, I asked myself what could I do to honor the legacy of Dr. King’s ideas? What commitment of myself could I offer the Civil Rights movement today? How could I pay homage to our ancestors who sacrificed so much for our freedom?

That’s when the idea of Walk to Freedom was born. I realized if I was going to offer a symbolic gesture to Dr. King, move the Civil Rights movement ahead by one yard, give thanks to the original Freedom Seekers, then I was going to walk to demonstrate my commitment.

Also, I began walking to reinvigorate my life through movement. As a regular 9-5 white collar worker I felt my body was becoming atrophied by sitting all day working at a computer station. Walking helped breath new energy into my body while simultaneously strengthening my muscles.

Goal of Galveston to Houston Juneteenth Walk

The goal of the Galveston to Houston Juneteenth walk is to commemorate the journey of the American ancestors forced off the land they labored over and into the hot sun, with no where to go, in the days immediately following Emancipation in Texas.

Background

I attended the University of Massachusetts as a young man, and have lived here in the western Massachusetts since I was a boy. I’ve enjoyed the ebb and flow of marriage, the delight in raising a child, the profound grief of losing a child, and finally divorce. And after all these experiences I’ve learned one has to keep going in life because another horizon awaits you over the next mountain.