Hi Everyone!

Today my goal in this post is to inspire. We all need inspiration from time to time. We get it from books, movies, games, people–there’s thousands of places.

But what if I told you that one of my biggest new inspirations is an eight-year-old girl?

Today I’m taking a break from the usual topic, writing, to talk about a hero. Her name is Sheyann Webb.

At eight years old, Sheyann was dubbed the “smallest freedom fighter” by Dr. King himself. She was a voice of the Civil Rights movement, a singer for freedom.

The story goes like this: She and her friend Rachel were playing outside when a car, full of well-dressed black men, pulled up to Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church. Curious, the pair approached the car, where they were introduced to Martin Luther King Jr. Himself, who was in Selma, Alabama, to help the black people get voting rights.

Sheyann began attending the gatherings at the Chapel, sometimes leading the congregation in song—usually on the topic of freedom—her favorite being “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”.

She became so caught up in the fight for freedom that she began skipping school to attend meetings.

Finally, on March 7, 1965, Sheyann Webb was the youngest person to attempt the 54-mile march from Selma to the state capitol of Alabama. The marchers were turned back at the Edmund Pettus Bridge by security armed with clubs and tear gas. She got out safely, and is to this day fighting for freedom as a public speaker.

Sheyann is an inspiration to the world. Her message of perseverance through  adversity–of fighting for justice at all costs—is the picture of heroism. The more I think about her sacrifice, the more I wonder—how can I, as a high school student, act out of selflessness as she did? This modern age is full of modern pleasures, modern priorities, modern mindsets—most of which have really been a part of this world since the fall. We are caught in the clutches of a sinful world.

What is at the root of our struggle? There are an infinite number of answers–but I feel that one reason we neglect the everyday battles being waged around us is because we are afraid of losing. We are afraid of doing what no one else will do. Whether it’s a bullied kid at the park or a victim of domestic abuse, Sheyann has taught us that standing for justice means speaking up. As long as we remain silent, nothing will change.

This blog post is my small, human voice trying to stand up and fight for change in a world bent on staying the same. Let’s take Sheyann’s gift of inspiration and turn it into action. You aren’t too young, too old, too sick, too anything to make a difference, and to shed light in the darkness in which we live.

 

Ain’t gonna let nobody

Turn me ’round

Turn me ’round

Ain’t gonna let nobody

Turn me round

I’m gonna keep on walkin’

Keep on talkin’

Marchin’ into freedom land.

 

This is my second year entering the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes’ art competition: The Art Effect Project. This project is focused on honoring the men, women, and children who impacted the world through their courage and sacrifice, but were unrecognized. Sheyann Webb, (pictured below at age eight or nine) is one of these heroes. It is an honor to be able to share her story in my project this year, which is entitled: 

 

Freedom’s Heart Song

 

Let’s follow Sheyann’s lead, and fight for justice and goodness this week.

Don’t give up!

~Izze

 

 

Information and dates related to Sheyann’s story were gained through Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 

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Izze

Izze

Hi guys! I'm Izze. My favorite pastime is (big surprise) writing! I also enjoy art and music/songwriting. I'm currently editing my second novel. When I'm not being productive, I'm using all of my phone storage on weird conversations between my characters. Because what else is "notes" for?

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1 comment

  • I love that song! My choir group sang it a couple years ago, and out of all the songs, for some reason it’s the only one I still remember and find myself humming at the most random times!

    Love your post! Really nice history lesson as well 🙂 It’s so great to let these inspiring stories pass on!

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