Weeping may stay for the night But rejoicing comes in the morning – Psalm 30:5
Now we’ve been here before and will be again… racial tensions, police brutality, inner city riots and American cities in flames.
But as Dr Martin Luther King vows in his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech on the National Mall in Washington DC in 1963 the weeping will stop.
That we could do with someone of the status of Dr King now is undisputed.
But we have his words, his legacy and an example from history to guide us.
It was put in place for the inner cities where the worst violence broke out.
U Street was the Black Broadway of its day popularised by the likes of Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday and…
Trinidadian Ben and his social hub, Ben’s Chili Bowl was allowed to stay open as it provided the local community with somewhere to go.
Ben’s Chili Half-Smoke is an institution in the American capital.
And it was here where Barack Obama dropped in a week before his inauguration.
When a local Mamma asked the Security brief who the VIP was for there to be such a fuss…
He turned and pointed at her pin on her coat… ‘Him’!
A cast of heroes
Ben’s is adorned with pictures of luminaries, Bono among them obviously, with Ben.
While the outside walls are a kaleidoscope of murals of famous people among them Dr King.
Ben’s is still at the heart of the community and as you would expect it is helping out frontline workers during this crisis.
Just follow https://www.toasttab.com/bens-chili-bowl-u-st/giftcards and enter firstname.lastname@example.org.
A fine example
Dr King may be gone but Ben’s is still going strong.
Just sit on a stool at the diner and you’ll see why it’s called Ben’s Chilled Bowl.