Their legacy in mind, on October 3rd, For Freedoms will be leading a 2020 Wide Awakes march as part of its broader campaign called the 2020 Awakening. The upcoming global event will take place both virtually and in person, and will celebrate the anniversary of the 1860 Grand Procession of the Wide Awakes. With activations in cities including Chicago; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Louisville, Kentucky, New York City’s in-person event will begin at the Africa Center, with participants marching along a path that will take them to Times Square, the Public Theater, Washington Square Park, and Federal Hall, following the footsteps of the original 19th-century cohort who marched down Broadway to Lower Manhattan. The three-part procession will be accompanied by a series of programs including meditations on radical love and Black lives, a marching band, and a roller-skate troupe.
Campaign director Manushka Magloire described a sense of “civic joy” as being central to the organization’s most recent call to action. “What does it mean for us to develop a cultural and political identity that is grounded in what healing, justice, and an awakening can be like when we don’t focus on the conditioning we’ve been exposed to?” she asked. “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”