On Watch Night, Freedom and Positive Change—“Midnight Cry”

Out of an abundance of caution for health and safety, The Positive Community’s (TPC) Great American Emancipation Day Awards Banquet at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ on January 1 is being postponed. TPC has strict COVID safety protocols and is closely following all CDC guidelines. The awards banquet will now take place during Black History Month, on Feb 19, 2022 in the Tri-State Ballroom at the Robert Treat Hotel. Tickets for January 1 will be honored on February 19th. The theme remains the same: “Saving Our Own Community.”

The rescheduling of the banquet celebration notwithstanding, the actual date, January 1, Emancipation Day, is deserving of a heartfelt observance. This date marks the beginning of the end of slavery in the USA. On this day in 1863, a new chapter in American history began. The freedom journey of the African American people took its first step!

A Healing Journey
One of the most profound theatrical experiences that best tells our story in America is the annual MAAFA Suite—A Healing Journey. The play was first produced in 1995 and continues to perform before packed audiences at St. Paul Community BC and Mt. Pisgah BC in Brooklyn and at churches and theaters around the country. Conceived and produced by Emancipation Day honoree Bishop Johnny Ray Youngblood, the performers consist largely of congregation members.

The play’s finale, “Midnight Cry,” is a soul-stirring illustration of what freedom, the ultimate victory over the negatives—oppression and fear—feels like. See it for yourselves: it’s educational, enlightening, and entertaining; an intergenerational experience for the whole family. Go to the positivecommunity.com.

“Midnight Cry” is a perfect complement to the traditional Watch Night service. TPC introduces a special initiative; we ask all of our Roll Call (pg. 7) member congregations to join us. Imagine if all houses of worship were to include “The Midnight Cry” into their church praise and worship experience on New Year’s Eve! Participating houses of worship will be added to our new Roll Call to be published in 2022: Ambassadors for Positive Change!

For the Good of All
Indeed, this is a very necessary, positive step if we are to embrace and advance the ideals of Positive Change in 2022. It is our intention through this community-building, life-affirming exercise in spiritual and cultural unity, to inspire a better understanding of and appreciation for the value of freedom through the observance of Emancipation Day.

Enjoy the Great Emancipation every day. Visit our website (thepositivecommunity.com) to review a playlist of highlights of TPC’s virtual 2021 Emancipation Day commemoration. The theme: “God Bless the Children.” TPC delivers meaning and value!

Teach the children—origins and destinies do matter! Our story, the “Cultural Narrative,” matters. Reflecting on the name of a great Civil Rights jazz anthem, “Now’s the Time,” We must begin to do things for ourselves; and for the good of all, on our own terms—now! In unity and faith, there are progress and hope; health and healing; peace and goodwill!

The progress of our children and the integrity of our African American culture, values, and traditions—our collective soul—mean everything! “Midnight Cry” restores the dignity of our humanity and forever affirms that our Heavenly Father never forgets His people (children), whom He loves!

Breaking News: Dr. Albert Morgan, president of New England Missionary Baptist Convention, America’s oldest Baptist Convention and pastor of Union Baptist Temple, Bridgton, NJ has just endorsed the Watch Night/Emancipation Day initiative. He pledges to encourage member congregations across seven states to participate.