Local Reverend talks modern activism and social media’s role

WASHINGTON — Black History Month is coming to a close, but the month wasn’t without controversy.

Whether it was the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations or the debate over Beyonce’s video and Super Bowl performance, people quickly and easily spoke out.

WTOP’s Stephanie Gaines-Bryant talked to Rev. Randy Callender, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland, about activism today and the activism of the 1950s and ‘60s.

“Today, with what’s going on with our youth and young adults, young people are just as outspoken and moving the movement — just as in the civil rights movement, when young people were leading and moving that movement,” says Callender. “The difference between then and now is social media.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Thurgood Marshall were all faces of the modern civil rights movement. There were also others who fought just as tirelessly for social justice whose names we’ll never know.

Callender says today’s social media gives everyday people a voice.

“Today, with social media, sometimes you can get some of the other voices to be heard quickly if someone is being abused or if someone has a message that is powerful,” Callender says.

As for where we go from here, Callender says the next step involves our hearts.

“I believe that we need to learn about love,” says Callender. “One of the quotes that I like to throw out a lot — I call it the Gospel of Jimi Hendrix — ‘When the power of love overcomes the love of power, only then will the world know peace.’”

Callender is a member of the Union of Black Episcopalians, and mentors minority youth at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church.

December 3, 2023 | WTOP’s Stephanie Gaines-Bryant talks modern activism with Rev. Randy Callender

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant is an Anchor and Reporter for WTOP. Over the past 20 years, Stephanie has worked in several markets, including Baltimore, Washington, Houston and Charleston, holding positions ranging from newscaster to morning show co-host.

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