2412 Griffith Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011   (213) 748-0318   info@secondbaptistchurchla.org


Independence is defined by Merriam–Webster as freedom from control or support. This means inherent within the actualization of independence is freedom.  Independence is qualified in the Declaration of Independence by this statement – “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This means freedom to me.  It is this freedom that our brothers and sisters are crying for when they protest.  It is what is meant when you hear the chant “no justice, no peace.”  It is the heartache and pain that befalls us when we hear or have to tell others “Black Lives Matter.” 

Looking at the political landscape with particular attention to the current climate, I am forced to ask the question – Are we independent?  The current prevailing social construct unfortunately reminds us daily we are not, because everyday:

We the people have to fight for our right to life - right to exist and live in peace.
We the people have to fight to live a life that defines liberty, a life that embodies the state of being free within society from oppression on one's life and existence
We the people have to contend against technicalities/man-made intentioned barriers/modern day poll taxes in our pursuit of happiness.


To be independent means to be free.  This Independence Day, do your part to trumpet Black Lives Matter and affect the levers of political power which sometimes means exercising your right to vote.  Until we are all living testimonies of what God, our Heavenly Father created us to be, we need to keep pushing because if one of us is not free, none of us are free. 

                                                       SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH – VOTER REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN


TAMIR RICE:   Say his name...

The 12-year-old Ohio youth was gunned down at a Cleveland public park while playing with a toy gun within 2 seconds after police arrived on the scene in 2014. No one was ever prosecuted. You can learn why here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LbCU3brYSvw

Say his name...

TAMIR would have turned 18 on June 25. He would be able to vote for president in November for the first time. TAMIR cannot. His voice was silenced. The fruit of citizenship that was his birthright denied, 6 years before he was old enough to vote.

Voter suppression takes many forms.  Ask George Floyd. Ask Breonna Taylor. Ask Ahmaud Arbery.

Say THEIR names...

Their voices were silenced. They rest in power - through THEIR memory...and OUR agency.  YOUR voice can still be heard. YOUR vote matters. YOUR vote can still empower.

Say THEIR names......when you vote on November 3.


In order to VOTE, you must REGISTER. We MUST vote people into office who WILL affect the changes we are entitled to – https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/

CHECK YOUR OWN VOTING STATUS - https://www.lavote.net/vrstatus/

Also, PLEASE complete your Census. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes, and allocate funding to YOUR community - https://my2020census.gov/

THEN, actively engage! Below are organizations promoting impactful and systemic changes in policies affecting the lives of millions of Americans. Donate your time, ideas, energy, and funds. Fundamental changes cannot happen without YOU

Poor’s People Campaign - https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org

Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/ A national platform to end death caused by police.

Color of Change: https://colorofchange.org/ A racial justice organization that mobilizes people to influence the government and corporations to                       create a more humane and less hostile community for Black people in America.

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles: https://blacklivesmatter.com/ NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund: NAACP Legal Defense and

                  Educational Fund, Inc. i i

Courtesy of Vincent Harris, former Senior Policy Advisor to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Committee members: Valerie McDonald, Steve Bagby, Sr., Jolaine Harkless, Ameila Jones and Sherryll McDonald