To testify is a powerful verb. Those of us who once belonged to Peoples Temple and somehow survived thought what we– thought we knew what testimony was all about. How many times did most of us here rise to our feet in order to glorify the accomplishments of a man to whom we gave away our power. Today I want to testify to something quite different, to the selfless devotion of so many individuals, living and deceased, buried here and elsewhere, that created the vibrant interracial community called Peoples Temple founded on a belief in equality. That was and remains the overwhelming miracle, something unprecedented in U.S. history. That’s what makes this hilltop slope looking down over East Oakland sacred space. In the examples of those who participated in this failed – possibly doomed – experiment, in what we then called socialism, I choose to find a seed of hope. Thank you.
Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.
Last modified on September 15th, 2014.