The Beginning of a Powerful Movement in Black History

Black History Month is now among us, and as we use this month to commemorate powerful leaders and trailblazers amongst the African American race, I believe this should also be a time to pay tribute to those who unfortunately lost their lives to unjustified crimes, and the power and strength of a community to grow a movement that rose from those tragedies.

The month of February also signifies Trayvon Martin’s birth, and even sadly, his death. He would have celebrated his 24th birthday today; however, unfortunately, his life was snatched away from him only shortly after his 17th birthday. The tragedy of Trayvon’s death also marks the beginning of one of the most powerful movements for Black Americans. Black Lives Matter became a powerful and earth-shattering force, because of such utter disregard for such an innocent Black life taken from this world so soon, simply because his appearance was perceived to be a “threat” and “suspicious”.

On February 26, the world was rocked by the news that Trayvon, an unarmed 17-year old child, was shot and killed because one man single man called the police on him for being what he assumed to be suspicious. Even after George Zimmerman was told NOT to follow him, he disobeyed and felt that he had to be responsible for an unnecessary “consequence” for Trayvon. He was doing absolutely nothing wrong, and what is painful is to know that no one on this earth expects to be so innocently living life, just for it to be taken away from you in a second.

In an even more outrageous occurrence, Zimmerman was acquitted of charges of second degree murder, based on what the jury felt was self-defense. It was because of this ruling, Black Lives Matter was created by three amazing women; Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors. This organization was formed to take on a fight against institutionalized racism and police brutality against black people.

Sadly, since Trayvon’s death, there have been other tragic events to occur in the Black community, all riddled with the same questions, mainly beginning with “why?”

Why are people who are doing absolutely nothing to lose “threat or fear” being killed, and officers using that lie to justify their actions? Why is it that families of these victims constantly let down by a justice system that does not see blatant crimes being committed?

Unfortunately, Trayvon’s untimely passing was truly an unnecessary and jarring tragedy; however, it has created such a response from communities that have now shed a gleaming light on injustice everywhere, and brought the African American community together to take a stand against what would become a widespread and unfortunate epidemic on the Black community.

Even nearly 7 years later, the circumstances surrounding Trayvon’s murder and other murders since are still haunting and even give some pause to doing things that felt like normal innocent behavior in the past. Walking down your neighborhood street becomes a hesitant decision, wearing a hoodie may cause sideways glances, seeing a police officer behind you makes you wonder if they will notice the color of your skin as a reason to pull you over. It’s like living your life walking on eggshells; not knowing whether your presence alone is causing someone “fear for their life.” This is our reality, and on most days some of our biggest and most pressing fears; to be misjudged, falsely accused, and paying an unnecessary price for the color of our skin.

In this month, it is important to reflect on history; and in order to do that, we cannot forget the movement that was sparked and ignited due to this unfortunate situation.

Happy Birthday, Trayvon. We will continue to strive for the justice you deserved.

🖤

Advertisements

Stressed.

With every headline, I get more and more stressed.

I wonder if my daughter will be safe in school.

I wonder if my husband will be safe anywhere.

I wonder if I will be safe anywhere.

Everything going on around us, just breeds more and more disdain and leads to a level of skepticism that anything will ever change.

This is only 2018, there’s so much more life to live.

All we can do, is pray through it.

As A Black American, I’m Exhausted 

**Just my thoughts as a Black woman in this America**

You may wonder why I don’t say a word about the things I see happening to my people.  You may question my dedication or enthusiasm to the “movement.”

Let me explain to you why I can no longer find the words to say my piece on the matter.

I don’t speak my mind much because I’m exhausted.  I’m exhausted with hashtagging names, young and old.  I’m exhausted with continuing to point out blatant miscarriages in justice.

I’m exhausted with the endless slaps in the face when officers are not brought to justice for the crimes committed when there is clear and convincing evidence to suggest that their outrageous and outlandish acts were not only cruel, but also excessive and egregious towards innocent people.

I’m exhausted with seeing crying mothers and fathers without their children; or babies who have to experience not having their parents in their lives at such a young age.

When the news came out the officer that shot and killed Mr. Philando Castille was acquitted, I couldn’t really form an opinion any longer, because it was no longer in my hands to fight.  Just like other officers who were no held accountable for the blatant things they had done, I just could not find words to speak.

So, I apologize if I’m not outspoken about the topic.  I apologize if I don’t always voice my opinion or let you know how upset or pissed off I may be.  Sometimes I don’t say a lot, and maybe I should be more vocal.  But sometimes, I wonder if I have enough energy to speak about it anymore.

Sometimes, the headlines make me numb.  Sometimes, just seeing another post about an African American man or woman being killed unjustly makes me nauseas to the point where I don’t even want to speak.  To this day, there are still headlines; I still see them come acroos my news feed or timeline.  I hate to admit, but sometimes, I can’t even find the energy to click on them because I can’t read another traumatic story.

Sometimes, I need to scroll past video footage because I don’t want to see it; I don’t enjoy watching death on my timeline or news feed (and yes, more often than not, they get hidden).  All of it is just too sad, but what’s even more disheartening, is a lot of people don’t have a voice for it anymore.  They are just too tired of fighting an battle that doesn’t seem winnable.

I have no words for it, all I can say is it’s exhausting.  One day maybe there will be some justice.  Maybe one day we can rest easier knowing that we will be safer.

Until then, I still sit exhausted, and afraid that the next move I make may be my last.