Community//

Rituals

Peaceful moments in a world of chaos

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Dr. Ralph David Abernathy and his wife Mrs. Juanita Abernathy and their children with Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King march on the front line, leading the SELMA TO MONTGOMERY MARCH in 1965 for voting rights.
Dr. Ralph David Abernathy and his wife Mrs. Juanita Abernathy and their children with Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King march on the front line, leading the SELMA TO MONTGOMERY MARCH in 1965 for voting rights.

One of my treasured rituals is my daily walks to the school bus with my children singing Woke Up This Morning, a freedom song from the Civil Rights Movement.  The morning chaos that often includes yelling and warnings to hurry up or risk missing the bus is immediately forgotten moments after shutting the front door. The song is powerful.  It was written by 33-year-old Reverend Robert Wesby of Aurora, Illinois in June 1961 while he spent time in the Hinds County jail, arrested for participating in the freedom rides from New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi.  It’s a song of resilience, new beginnings, and steadfast faith.  You can’t help but feel good while singing it.  By the end of the summer of 1961, Woke Up This Morning had become the unofficial anthem of the local voter registration drive.  

“Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom
I said I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom
Well I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom
Hallelu, hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, hallelujah”

Walking down the road, holding hands with my kids, I’m trying to teach them to walk tall and proud, despite any challenges they may face.  That you can immediately transform your mood through music and powerful words. And that every day is a fresh start. 

Lately, I’ve found myself singing this song as I walk to my office, or in between meetings, or whenever I just need a pick-me-up.  I always feel better afterward. I feel connected to the struggle and it inspires me to overcome any obstacle in my way. It’s a song that inspires optimism that we can mend our broken world. 

*I learned many Freedom Songs while chaperoning a Sojourn to the Past trip with my high school students when I was a teacher at East Palo Alto Academy.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Wisdom//

My Morning Routine

by Donna Melanson - Azul Yoga
Community//

Bessie Jones’ Old Time Sound, For A Now Time, Tune! #BlackAmericanHer/History 360

by Lauren Kaye Clark
Community//

Waking up with a purpose

by Elvis Mwangi

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.