I have spent some quiet time since the City Council meeting this past Monday wrestling with how to hold the eternal varieties of the discussion over Unity Cemetery. These adjective words describe the situation that night.
without beginning or end; lasting forever; always existing
perpetual; ceaseless; endless:
eternal quarreling; eternal chatter.
Photographer William Manley and others have provided powerful images of the Unity Cemetery restoration; a holy place where members of the community of saints rest. The response, the selflessness, the hearts that took this burial site from talking to action is the greatest example of preservation and restoration. Preserving the history and the story that each headstone represents is like an architectural dig: carefully peeling back the layers of leaves, brush, and fallen limbs that have blanketed the cemetery for a long time. I do not speak for this group of volunteers, but I know they will not be deterred by the perpetual, ceaseless, and endless rhetoric on display Monday night.
The deep and serious tone of concern in the voices of both Councilmen is predictable now that this carefully organized effort and large response have happened. Mr. Blackwell went so far as to infer that someone might deliberately destroy the black history at Unity. Never mind the years that have only become urgent now. Mr. Knight began with records of the Council in 2007 that are meant to prove their interference now. It was said, “We need to hire someone to do this right.” “Someone might get hurt.” It’s the City’s responsibility to see after this for the community.” I hope you remember the word, ‘blarney.’ I would like to add, ‘such blarney.’
These volunteers on Saturday are a dream come true. Volunteers that have come together IN UNITY are now a big problem! The reason is that these two Councilmen won’t allow anything to happen that isn’t under their control. This position is perpetual; ceaseless and endless. The fall election could free the community from one vote that has assumed the right to a lifetime position. There is no hope for me who continues to get mad and stomp around. The UNITY CEMETERY advocates know better. They have already risen above this eternal chatter. We cheer them on, which is ‘meet and right so to do.’
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” –Warren G. Bennis
2 thoughts on “The Eternal Varieties of Councilmen Knight and Blackwell”
I heartily agree with Mr. Adcox. Your writing perfectly captured and expressed my feelings and thoughts. Thank you, dear Stepheney!!
Thank you Stephanie for stating so eloquently what so many of us feel, regarding this Unity Cemetery restoration project. This effort is something to be applauded! And yet as usual, the naysayers, led by our two “anti unity” council members, continue to throw wet blankets on every single effort to bring REAL unity back to this city.
The people who showed up last Saturday morning did so for one reason only; to lend a hand in a truly wonderful endeavor to do something *good* and *worthwhile*. They had no ulterior motive, as suggested by some in attendance at Monday night’s council meeting, and they deserve better than to be belittled and chastised by those who seize every opportunity to derail any and all efforts to bring our city together.
Rocky Mount is a good and just city, and our people demonstrate those traits on a regular basis. Its a shame these two elected leaders can’t bring themselves to acknowledge this inherent “goodness” of their fellow citizens, and STOP trying to drive a wedge between us.