Thursday, March 21, 2019

Why the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund is Important - An Open Letter

I've written posts before stating why I think Mt. Zion Memorial Fund is important to support. 

Here is another one. 

Not only citing the academic research, and the memorials created, I've also tried to relate the relief I felt to find an organization that was putting blues in the overall context of African American and world history...past and present! 

Also, I've pointed out the importance of MZMF to dig into issues beyond the surface, call out blues hypocrites, consult with community members before the placement of monuments to help them understand the goals of MZMF and including them so that they feel invested in the project--as opposed to just moving in and taking over in a quasi-blues Manifest Destiny manner. 

After making my posts, I then shared it with as many people as possible. I tagged blues fans, musicians, non-profits, blues organizations, blues FB pages, as well as civil & human rights groups, teachers, black arts groups. etc. I also strongly encouraged all to donate and reshare my posts with everyone in their network of blues and justice-minded people.

Every fan/member/follower/etc can do it.  It's easy. Plus, it's cathartic to one's soul!

The MZMF is breaking the blues out of the one-dimensional boxes that the power structure holds sacrosanct, that leads so many into thinking that the blues is irrelevant to current issues in the African American community--which are really ALL of our issues.  

The MZMF has also taken on the scourge of self-defensive, redneck, so-called blues lovers, who want zero to do with the reality that the blues--though many things to many people simultaneously--was always music of protest. Often those protests had to be masked in metaphor, but they were nevertheless still protests.

The efforts of MZMF--their hands-on, getting your hands dirty, deep in the Mississippi mud of things--to have these memorials built--for over a quarter of a century have been crucial to bringing so many of these truths to light.

Now, others are also carrying on the fight in their own communities from New York to Nepal, from St. Louis to Beantown, from Ottawa back to the Motherland of Africa!  We can all help but we all can't be in the critical areas of blues tourism where the battle is still being waged.  So keep bringing the fight to your own areas, and help support MZMF in every way possible to keep the fires burning, so they can keep the heat to the feet of those who must be warmed & woken. 

Let's hear your MZMF story. Just start typing.  Pretty soon your story will direct you.  Just like the blues.

 If you are new to MZMF please check out their FB page and web site.

You'll be blown away.


T.J. Wheeler

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