It’s 2020, the dawn of a new decade…
An opportunity for many pastors and public speakers to declare, through cliche taglines of “20/20 vision,” that this was the year to realize achievements, purpose, and direction.
In reality, 2020 has been a challenge.
It has been a year that has opened new scars on old wounds. We’ve seen a nation shutter in place from a global health pandemic and mobilize in vast numbers to seek justice, police reform, and equality among all men. A single knee of a police officer in Minnesota brought the nation to its collective knees. The smartphone video captured cries of George Floyd as he plead for his last breath echoes the cries of a people group for generations. Black Lives Matter – not only “matter” but these lives are critically important to the body of Christ and meant to thrive.
All across the country, people of every race, religion, and creed have chosen ways to share their support for the movement of justice and equality against the African American plight.
In West Virginia, a state far removed from Minnesota but all too familiar with racial inequality, citizens collectively and individually have let their voices be heard. West Virginia’s history shows the magnitude of the racial divide, where the greatest political representative (Senator Robert Byrd) was once a high ranking KKK member while at the same time serving as the home of Carter G. Woodson, considered the “Founder of Black History.”
Still today, many roads, buildings, and schools bear the name of Mr. Byrd and confederate figures of the past. The upheaval in society has caused many in WV to question the appropriateness of such enshrinements of such a painful piece of our history…David Harvey is one of them.
Harvey is a mentor to young people through youth sports, a dedicated volunteer to the Special Olympics, a talented videographer, and a hardworking individual providing for his family.
He is a white man married to a black woman living on the west side of Charleston, WV where his black children will be required to attend a middle school named after confederate general, Stonewall Jackson.
When hearing the news of George Floyd’s death, Harvey reflected on the impact that it had on his family as well as the conversations that he has had and will continue to have with his sons. He observed what he saw in the world and the body of Christ and chose to write a song expressing his concerns for his family and the church.
Due to its raw and relevant nature, “Somebody Can’t Breathe” quickly became an anthem for the state to combat racial inequality. Garnering local mainstream radio play, the challenging picture that David Harvey verbally sheds light on the need for the church to step up and lead, to be the change agents that are so desperately needed.
Harvey has partnered with the FiveTwenty Collective to provide an exclusive free download of “Somebody Can’t Breathe.”
You can follow David Harvey on Twitter @DavidHarveyWV