Posts Tagged ‘Trayvon Martin’

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A series, inspired by the CNN special, dedicated to race related identity issues concerning Black people in America.
The Story

I tried not to follow the trial but I would have had to be living under a rock not to hear about the outcome. All I kept thinking is ‘What the fuck?!” I am glad that people are making a big deal out of all these situations: Trayvon, Renisha, Marissa, Jordan, and all the other names that don’t always make the papers (The Root has a post dedicated to sharing some of the stories of Black unarmed men who have been murdered). So I was on the bus recently and I saw this little Black boy talking with his mother. He had these big, bright eyes and he spoke well and with confidence. I could tell he was a smart kid and I looked at him and thought about what he might be when he grows up and then I thought about Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. My smile dropped and my heart started pounding imagining the other future that may be waiting for him. And I found my hopes and thoughts of him as a President, a surgeon, a lawyer, or an entrepreneur replaced by the hopes that he lives to see his 25th birthday, that he never gets arrested, or that he never has to swallow his dignity to survive. That little boy’s face haunted me all day. I thought about what I would say to him if he were my son. Then the thought came to me that he is my son. Every little Black boy I meet is my son and I should care for their well being and future as such. So I wrote this letter…

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Jordan Davis

To All My Sons:

I wish that I could raise you as a child, but the fear, the spite, and lovelessness of this world will not wait. I will protect your innocence for as long as I can but I must prepare for a life without my love. I do this selfishly for my own peace of mind and I hope you forgive me for it and, maybe, one day thank me for it. So, little Black man I speak to you as a man in the making.

Kimani Gray

Kimani Gray

This world has lost its heart and it’s mind has followed. So instead of logic you’ll find ignorance; instead of compassion you’ll find cynicism; instead of acceptance you will find adversity; instead of love you will find pain. Look at the faces of your fathers. Notice that tightness in the jaw from hidden clenched teeth. Look at the foggy glaze in their eyes from having seen dreams torn pieces. Listen the aching in their hearts from having known too much heartbreak. But look also to the strength of their stride as it never loses its bounce. Look to the courage of their hands mahogany brown and tough like the base of a tree. They have narrowly survived America…but they have survived it. In that lies your hope. That knowing that you can survive it. Look to the faces of your brothers. Faces not unlike your own: shining with hope and an eagerness to engage the world. In their faces lies your motivation. That knowing that while this world is full of sorrow and joy, yours and your brothers presence in it will make all the difference. There is and can be so much more to this world. Some of it you will find, but a lot of it you will have to create.

Kendric McDade

Kendric McDade

Our existence in this country is an issue for us and our countrymen. This country has never loved us and that’s not our fault. It would seem that we are enemies locked in battle and that one should, inevitably, destroy the other. That won’t happen — not for lack of trying, mind you. It won’t happen because we are bound to each other through blood and history. You have a place here in this country of your birth. You belong here as much as anyone, if not more (except ofcourse for the Native Americans on whose land we all live). The issue of your existence in America is not your belonging, nor is it your equality — these things are only questioned by those who fear the loss of their privilege by your ascension. The issue is what will be your place in this world. That has as much to do with you as it does with the systems that govern this country.

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Ervin Jefferson

You were born innocently and without your own permission. Birthed into whatever social class and economic status fate dictated. That in itself will feel like an affront to your manhood. And as a Black man it will only get worse. Unfortunately America has not considered your place in it. It is unsure of what you are and where you belong. It is afraid of not knowing what you are and where you belong. But that is why you must be completely certain.

Tim Stansbury

Timothy Stansbury Jr.

You are a Black man. Seek inward first for the definition of what that means. There is something inside every Black ma that knows exactly what it means to be a Black man. The instincts and urges that are inside tell you how to be a Black man. That is how we become men even when our father’s are absent. Something inside knows. Study your own instincts. Face your own urges. Be well acquainted with your darkness as much as your light. Then reconcile to love every last piece of what you find. What you hate, change it. What you value, share it. What you love, cultivate it. What weakens you, protect it. Do that first and do it soon. Learn to know and love yourself before you let the world in.

Then look back to your fathers and around you at your brothers and acknowledge the place that has been allotted to you in this world. The world has its own ideas about who you are and where you belong in this world. More often than not it has decided that you are dangerous, inferior, barbaric, and helpless. More often than not the place it has prepared for you is in mediocrity. But I submit to you that even if that is where you find yourself — at any time in your life — no one can hold you there. At best the world can convince you that you belong there and that belief becomes the shackles that keeps you there. But you must never believe that you are meant for anything less than greatness.

Sean Bell

Sean Bell

Greatness is in your heritage.  You are capable of almost anything (in this life you will surely find things that you simply cannot do, but attempt them as if you have no idea that you might fail). Do this because it’s who we all are. I could spend hours naming the Black men before you who have attempted to do what ‘could not be done’ and succeeded, but you will find their stories and learn their names. Just know that they are you and you are them because because their blood courses through your veins. You are your fathers’ son.

You are a man and a man does not allow another man to define him or tell him who he is. A man does this for himself and meets other men on equal ground. On that ground is where a man demands his respect and forces the world to deal with him as he is. That is how you make room for yourself and begin to decide for yourself who you are, what you will be, and where you will go.

Victor Steen

Victor Steen

You have as much potential as any other, though it will be much more opposition to its manifestation. It’s okay if that bothers or angers you, because it’s not right. But don’t let it ever stop you. The future needs your contribution, however big or small. Your sons need to see and know you even if only in legacy. You are the key to our evolution. You are your sons’ father.

Know, remember, and speak your history so that you never forget who you are. Honor and love our people so that they never long for the love and validation of others. Cherish and support our women so that always find comfort in our arms. Be present with and within our children so that they seek and revere our guidance. This world responds to the force of action. Knot that the greatest force of action any man can possess is love: love of himself, love of his people, love of humanity, and the love of justice.

Wendell Allen

Wendell Allen

We have not survived the holocaust of slavery, the inhumanity of Jim Crow, and the trauma if disenfranchisement by being common.We have survived it because we are different. We are Black people. We are Black men. We know the power and strength of love. We were clothed in a skin destined to be loved by the sun and it is our natural blessing that the greatest star would love our flesh enough to bronze it. Never feel shame for that. Love your brown skin. Love your Blackness. That is how we have survived horrors like nothing any other people has experienced: because we are loving people and love is built to endure. And so we have endured. But now is the time that our endurance becomes perseverance and perseverance evolves into victory. We have brought you this far and we will take you as far as we can, but your turn will come. I pray you take yours much further than we are able to bring you. I love you little Black man. My living is for your survival; my life is for your destiny. Your living is for our hope; your life is for our destiny.

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

An Angry Black Man

*For more information about the stories of the young men whose pictures are used in this post click here.

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The course of events that have followed the Trayvon Martin murder and acquittal of George Zimmerman have exposed America for the silent bigot that she is.

The Story

The acquittal of George Zimmerman was meant to be business as usual for the justice system. Media buzzed with talks of possible riots from the Black community long before the jury gave their verdict. White Americans criticized Black leaders for calling for peace from their people and snickered remembering that, historically, most riots from the Black community only end up affecting those same communities as Black people lose themselves in rage and attack anything around them (because most of those reckless souls barely leave their communities). So the prevailing thought was that there was nothing to fear. Black people would be upset and revolutionary for a week or two, the standard Black activists would rally, protest, and preach and then the country would return to normal.

They were wrong.

The Potential

Once justice had been denied in the trial and a not guilty verdict was rendered, a woman from the jury known only as Juror B37, sought –as all good capitalistic Americans do — to make a name for herself and a little money too. Her greed led her to make blatant her ignorance and the jury’s biases and blunders. The conversations surrounding the case raged on. It was then that the people began to rally and protest more fervently picking up recently covered incidents such as Marissa Alexander and others who were facing or being denied justice for that unspoken reason.

The coup de grace came when the president, our commander-in-chief weighed in on the subject in a surprise press conference. Check mate. The presidents comments,though viewed by many in the Black community as not being strong enough, was more than enough for many in the White community (imagine right wing conservatives mostly).

Now Obama is being accused of race baiting (a ploy to get the Black community to think that he doesn’t care about their issues as many have commented throughout his presidency) and that he is only trying to advance his administrations agenda — which no one has ever really stated what particular benefits his administration would receive by turning Whites against Blacks. Conservatives are swearing that there is Black hatred against America (because President Obama spoke about the contemptuous treatment of Black men in America). And these conservatives and White American who hold racial prejudices are claiming that the country is being dragged back into the civil rights era. I actually read that somewhere; I laughed. Black Americans were not able to leave the civil rights era as our civil rights have never been secured and equality has never been achieved. So while that may seem scary to them, it has always been our reality and, thankfully, now the rest of the world has to join us in reality.

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Historically speaking, America achieved its greatness by its ability to take risks and its commitment to challenging even its own principles in search for a more perfect justice. It is those values that formed democracy. It is those principles that made us world leaders and a country the world once sought to follow and respect. This is our moment to get escape the bubble we have been living in and get back to that.

I understand that for the privileged of this country it is scary. I know that it now seems dangerous to have a president that can so intimately relate to the plight of the disenfranchised. What they need to understand is that Black Americans do not seek the demise of White people. hate has never been inherent to our cultural values — that is evidenced in how many slaves never hated, raped, or enslaved their captors even when they had the opportunity. We have only wanted equality, respect, and liberty (things this country promised ). This movement is not a battle that will divide this country; it is the struggle that will unify this country.

“Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one’s sense of one’s own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man’s world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar, and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.” – James Baldwin

The Point

It is only at the point where the truth cannot be denied that change can occur. It is okay for us to disagree on the details if the problem. It is okay for us to disagree on the solution to the problem. The thing we cannot do is continue to pretend there is no problem and not address the problem. The time for ignorance and denial in America is over.

This recent series of events have set in motion what could be the movement we have been waiting for. This could be the moment for America to be great again. This could be the moment for America to live up to its own hype. This could be the change we have been waiting for.

What will make the difference is whether we capitalize upon this opportunity. We as a people, especially the youth of this country have to stand up and speak up like never before. Now is not the time to let things work themselves out. Now is not the time to think only of ourselves. Now is not the time to leave things in the hands of politicians and activists. This country belongs to all of us and we all have a right, no an obligation, to see it progress in the right direction. We need to be strategic, careful, and calculating to pull this off. This movement cannot turn into another moment of wanton violence and ignorant debate. We need change. And what better time than now; what better person than you (all of us). It only takes one person to make a difference; we all have to be that one person. That is how revolutions are achieved.

I’m not sayin’; I’m just sayin’,

An Angry Black Man

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President Obama speaks out on the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, the George Zimmerman verdict, and what he feels that means for us as a country.

President Obama’s speech was sincere and, in as politically correct a way as possible, he shared his honest thoughts and feelings on the matter. The statements he made cannot be taken lightly.

Law Problems & The Justice System

One of the major points President Obama makes in his speech is that there is a problem with the laws of this country. The President emphasized that these laws are governed on the state level; however, he made sure to give his presidential opinion that laws such as Stand Your Ground do not support peace and security.

The Black Context

President Obama stated,

“I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this through a set of experiences and history that doesn’t go away.” – President Barack Obama

President Obama made sure to emphasize the “context” of the Trayvon Martin tragedy and what that means to Black people. This is significant because society depends on ignorance to support the delusion of post-racism and racial peace in America. By him, as president, stating that the truth as even he knows it, he is forcing the country to be honest.

“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed while they were shopping in a department store, that includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on doors of cars. That happened to me, at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often. And I don’t want to exaggerate this but those sets of experiences informs how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida and its inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.” – President Barack Obama

This is significant because there have been many criticisms from the Black community about President Obama not doing enough for the Black community; however, we have to realize is not the president of Black America. He is the president if The United States of America. That said, his charge is to the entire country. At best he can make moves such as this to weigh in on situations and not allow the country to ignore the issues of racial prejudice and racial disparity. In this regard he is doing more than most Black politicians have done.

Where The Solution is Found

The other significant part of the speech was President Obama’s emphasis that politicians are fairly impotent in making changes that affect racial prejudice. Partly because these incidents often happen on a lesser scale and never make it through local government channels such as law enforcement and state courts.

“There has been talk about whether we should convene a conversation on race. I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations. They end up being stilted and politicized and folks are locked into the positions they already have. On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces there’s a possibility that people are a little bit more honest.” – President Barack Obama

The Point

Essentially President Obama has come forward to say that we all know there’s a race problem in this country and that problem is systemic (in the legal and justice system). He has made a call to arms for each individual member of this country to take responsibility for these injustices by examining ourselves and being honest with ourselves about our own biases. America’s race problem cannot be fixed through laws and cannot be changed by politicians. It has to be personal. It has to be everyone one person critically examining themselves and holding themselves to higher moral standard. The war is psychological and the revolution takes place in our minds.

I’m not sayin’; I’m just sayin’,

An Angry Black Man

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed one of the jurors from the George Zimmerman trial. This interview gave significant insight into the minds of the jury who acquitted Zimmerman.

As many people are wondering exactly how the jury could find George Zimmerman innocent of both manslaughter and second degree murder, Juror B37’s interview allowed us to see exactly what these individuals were thinking. There were several significant moments in the interview that illustrate some fundamental problems with this trial and explain how things went so wrong.

Colour-Blindness

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The first thing that resonated with me was the fact that Juror B37 stated that she never considered race an issue in the case. I have done enough ranting on the dangers of society (primarily a white Americans) proposing that we are living in a post-race society. I dare not explore here the fact that the majority of people holding this belief are White Americans, who have always had privilege in this country, and have the luxury of opting to not have their race be a large part of their identity in society or they are Black Americans, who want so desperately to believe that because they have found some measure of success, that they can opt out of being Black. However, I digress. Juror B37 went on to say that race was never even discussed in the jury deliberations. Well does explain a lot.

Taking race out of the conversation ignores Zimmerman’s racial prejudices that led him to profile Trayvon as a danger that needed to be dealt with. Taking race off the table neglects the fact that Zimmerman saw an unarmed 17 year-old kid standing 5’11” and weighing 158lbs as a threat to public safety and at some point caused Zimmerman to “fear for his life” and something tells me he would not have thought this had Trayvon been White or female. To ignore race in this case glosses over the reality of what life is like for a Black male in this society and how Trayvon could think of Zimmerman as a “creepy ass cracker” and that not be a racist comment but rather an angry assessment that isn’t anymore character degrading than Zimmerman and his defense team pushing the idea that Trayvon was a visibly apparent “thug” because Trayvon smoked weed and had an interest in guns (certainly Zimmerman recognized that when he saw Trayvon, right??).

Credibility

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Another issue that comes up in the interview was the fact that Juror B37 admitted believing that Zimmerman probably “fabricated” certain parts of his re-enactment but that never affected his credibility or the he was “telling the truth.” Okay, seriously?? Essentially this woman has said ‘I know he’s lying but I believe he’s telling the truth’ and where in Hell does that ever make sense and not lend itself to the fact that racial perceptions were in play during this trial? She goes on to say that she believed the officer who testified because “he deals with this kind of thing” and not Rachel Jeantel because she isn’t educated, lacks communication skills, and didn’t want to be there. It is clear that for this juror, credibility lies in your education and/or the kind of work that you do and not whether or not you’re a liar.

Empathy

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I think the most troubling thing that is Juror B37’s empathy for Zimmerman and support for his actions despite the fact that she believes he “went too far” and blatantly disobeyed police orders to not follow Trayvon. She still believed Zimmerman to be a man “whose heart was in the right place” and felt that he was in fear of his life and had a right to then murder Trayvon. It didn’t matter that she believed he lied, that he didn’t have a right to be there, or that he blatantly stalked Trayvon and engaged him with enmity.

And when asked if she felt sorry for Trayvon Juror B37 said “I fee, sorry for both if them.” She could not bring herself to feel complete empathy for the loss a child’s life. She had to feel sorry for Zimmerman in order to feel sorry for Trayvon.

The Problem

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I have seen a number of people say that there was nothing wrong with the system and that there is no issue to be had with the acquittal of Zimmerman. They say this because they felt the prosecution didn’t prove their case. While I was not a fan of the prosecution’s efforts, I would not go as far as suggesting that justice served or that the legal process was carried out rightly.

The jury was fairly confused over how to interpret the charges brought against Zimmerman and the law. I was extremely surprised to learn that, in their blundering, the jury decided to focus only on the moments right before Zimmerman pulling the trigger and whether or not he was practicing self defense. This essentially means that they never addressed the charge of 2nd degree murder (which requires that consideration be given to the events leading up to the homicide and that the relationship between the two individuals has to be considered to decide if the killer acted with enmity towards the person whom they killed). Only one juror even thought about whether or not Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter initially, which requires that the killer recklessly handled a weapon (I admit this would have been difficult to prove in this case). This leaves one law that the jury focused on which was Florida’s Stand Your Ground law which essentially outlines reasons why a person can use deadly force. The major reason being if they feel there is imminent danger to their life.

That said it appears the jury spent the majority of their time trying to consider if Zimmerman had right to kill the boy and never questioned how he came to be in such a position (which Juror B37stated she believes Zimmerman got himself into the situation).

The Point

The fact is that miscarriages of justice prevail when truths are ignored. As long as we continue to pretend that race is not an issue in this country, Black people will continue to be oppressed, targeted, and even murdered in ignorance. A child has lost his life because Black people have become too apathetic, indifferent, and blind to see the chips being stacked against us.

I want to be a happy American with the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but the truth is in America my life is not valued, my liberty is constantly threatened, and happiness comes sporadically. This is not for lack of trying, it’s for lack of opportunity. The most patriotic thing I can think to do for my country is to force it to face the truth of its reality and deal with me — that which it has created.

I’m not sayin’; I’m just sayin’,

An Angry Black Man

The task of creating a home place was not simply a matter of Black women providing a service; it was about construction of a safe place where Black people could affirm one another and by so doing heal many of the wounds inflicted by racist domination. We could not learn to love and respect ourselves in the culture of white supremacy, on the outside; it was there on the inside, in that “homeplace,” most often created and kept by Black women, that we had the opportunity to grow and develop, to nurture our spirits. This task of created a homeplace, of making home a community of resistance, has been shared by Black women globally, especially by Black women in white supremacist societies.
– Bell Hooks

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The Story

The tragic murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, brought a number of emotions to the forefront for many Black Americans. After the verdict was given I immediately called my mother. I knew that she would be up waiting to hear the jury decide. When she answered the phone I said “I can’t even speak.” She sighed and said “I know.” We were silent for a moment and I thought back to something she had said when the story first broke. I can’t remember her exact words but she said something like:

“The world will never understand the conversations Black mothers have with their sons.”

I asked her about that statement and we stayed on the phone for an hour.

The conversation made me realize that the emotions that the tragedy stirred up were personal and multi-faceted. My mother wasn’t just saddened by the loss of a Black child, that could have been hers, she was also disheartened by the reality that to Black in America is to be wholly unlike any other American and that objective fact trickles down into the cracks of our lives and changes it on a fundamental level. For my mother being Black comes with its specific share of issues, being a Black woman comes with another set of issues, being a Black mother comes with its challenges, but, most specifically, being the mother of a Black man has its own contextual concerns.

That conversation opened my eyes to a perspective regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy that I did not have access to without hearing her feelings. For that reason, I decided to take a survey of the mothers of Black men to find out if they felt the way my mother did.

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From the mouths of Black Mothers

One central theme that rang out from the results of my survey was the notion of humanity. Many of the mothers stated that racial profiling, police brutality, and the violent racism that confronts their sons hurts them deeply because these men that they have carried in their wombs and brought into the world with love and hope are born with the odds against them. They are labeled as threatening and dangerous upon sight and it pains Black mothers that the world cannot see their sons as they do and doesn’t want to at least give them the opportunity to be innocent members of humanity.

One mother stated:

It saddens me to see people see our children as trouble or a threat. Our children are profiled just because they are black. When will they see our children as real people?

Another mother said:

“Well, when I was pregnant some of my fears were ofcourse keeping him safe from abusers, predators, and anything that can taint him before his time. As [he] got older, now 12, my fears began to be different. . . simple acts began to scare me, such as going to school and being mistreated, walking down the street to a friends house, playing ball in the street, things that are so typical and common for children to do, began to scare me. Now, I have the fear of my only son, walking to the store to get some skittles and a soda, and never returning.”

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The Conversations

A number of mothers spoke about their fears for their sons. This fear forces them to forfeit their son’s innocence early in order to educate, inform, and train them to survive a world that in the blink of an eye will judge, condemn, and persecute them for the most trivial of things. One mother said

“My son has to bare an interrogation every time he wants to go to the basketball court, 50 feet from our home. Because Im afraid.– One thing in particular that stood out about that conversation was that I had to tell my son how to react if approached by the police. I told him to be sure to lift both hands high, look around for people that will be willing to stay and exercise their right to watch the police do their job, start to explain what is going on very loudly, so that other people will be involved, be sure to get the officers name, if you have done nothing continue to ask the officer why you are being arrested — Im HAVING to explain this to a 9 year old!!! America!!”

The tragedy is that among the fear of pedophiles, kidnappers, and bully’s is a fear of the individuals that we rely on for fairness, justice, and protection. To be afraid of one’s own country can be nothing if not psychologically damaging. Many of the mothers fear for their son’s mental well being. They fear that discrimination will batter their sons’ spirits and lead them to doubt themselves and seek the streets instead of education and professional employment. Black mothers struggle with how to sustain their son’s resolve. The result is a series of conversation, throughout their sons lives, to remind them that can overcome the opposition and succeed as one mother put it,

“Being Black is not your problem but their problem”

The Point

Several friends said to me that they didn’t understand what people were so upset about because Trayvon Martin was not the first Black child to be murdered and have his murderer escape justice and they are sure Trayvon won’t be the last. One friend said “people just need to get over it.” I listened and my heart broke. I thought how broken and damaged we must be to not be able to empathize with the pain of a violent and sudden loss of life. That kind of apathy comes from having one’s hopes dashed one too many times. It’s an egregious kind of despair that is ignorant of its own origins. Yes it’s true Trayvon is not the first or the last; but, the truth also is that if we responded to every act the way responded to Trayvon, it would stop. We don’t need to care less; we need to care more.

When I hear comments like that I think about my own feelings that I had expressed to my mother on the phone that night when I reminded her of my many run ins with police and people who had demonized me — despite all my efforts to stay out the streets, go to school, speak proper English, dress appropriately, and obey the law — I said to her, “That could have been me. That isme — the only difference is I didn’t die.” And then I think of my mother, who I was fortunate enough to have stand behind me each time, and how it must feel for her and mothers like her to bring a human life into this world and have that life denied humane treatment. To be the mother of a Black man is to be robbed of the parental right to protect and care for your child. For the mothers of Black men, the reality is that they only have a few years to love their sons hard enough to strengthen against the lovelessness of the world and they only have a short while to have the conversations necessary to teach their sons to survive America.

Yes, we were trembling. We have not stopped trembling yet, but if we had not loved each other, none of us would have survived, and now you must survive because we love you and for the sake of your children and your children’s children — You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason. The limits to your ambition were thus expected to be settled. You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity and in as many ways as possible that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence. You were expected to make peace with mediocrity. Wherever you have turned…in your short time on this earth, you have been told where you could go and what you could do and how you could do it, where you could live and whom you could marry. — But these men are your brothers, your lost younger brothers, and if the word “integration” means anything, this is what it means, that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it, for this is your home, my friend. Do not be driven from it. Great men have done great things here and will again and we can make America what America must become. – James Baldwin

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

An Angry Black Man

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

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“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

– Elie Wiesel