But over time, King’s message of nonviolence began to stick.
Gee was in high school when King was assassinated. It was difficult for him to reconcile that a man who preached nonviolence was taken from this world in such a violent way. Gee said that King’s influence on him is akin to that of Jesus Christ, “who suffered for other people, and then died,” Gee explained.
Rising above the impulse for “retribution” in response to racism and violence is still a challenge to this day, Gee said. “We know it is not the easiest way,” he said of nonviolence, “but we know that it is the best way.”
All of the videos that Lundy posted are in black and white. That was intentional.
“It felt like 1968,” Lundy said. “And that stuff that was going on in 1968 is going on now. And we got through it then; we can get through it again.”
Lundy was pleasantly surprised by some of the submissions, like the video from communications consultant Lisa Stites.
“The time is right for white allies to step out, to speak out. It’s time to teach your children about the inequalities and racist behaviors that we see in our country,” Stites said. “It’s time to speak out when we see racist behavior ourselves and to realize that this is our burden to bare.”
“I’ve never really seen her like that before,” Lundy said of Stites. “I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I could feel that frustration.”
Lundy said the project and the videos made him feel more American than he has in his whole life. “I am so proud of Black Americans and African Americans as a Black man that we had a hand in building this country. And I will be damned if I let some ignorant folks destroy it.”
“Going forward,” Lundy continued, “I just hope that people look at themselves in the mirror and look at their children if they have them, and think to themselves, ‘What is their life going to be ten years from now?’”