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.

🖤

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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.

Your Ignorance Does Not Get My Sympathy

This past MLK Day, another non-person of color surfaced in the media for a video that she posted on her Instagram, for blatantly spewing the N-word several times with no real care in the world from what it appears.  According to her, I guess her being in the south gave her the authority and the permission to say the N-word with no remorse.

A University of Alabama student and member of Alpha Phi, Harley Barber apparently decided to go against what her friend suggested she NOT do, and post two videos on social media where she continues to state how she hates “n*****s” and doesn’t care that she says the word, because, as she says, she’s “in the south now, b*tch.”

Yea, ok girl.

Obviously, I have numerous issues with this; one, she is clearly ignorant for thinking that she can just call African Americans the N-word because she lives in the south and that’s just what people do.  Apparently she thought we weren’t dragging people for filth down here at a moment’s notice when we were called out of our names. Two, the article clearly outlines that her friends told her that she shouldn’t post the videos on her social media, because not only is she making herself look like an ignorant fool, but she is also making herself a blaring embarrassment to her sorority, but I guess she could care less about that; and anyone who had something to say about it she gave them a swift middle finger in the video also.

Well, good thing her organization had some kind of class and taste, because they quickly pulled the plug on her membership status.  On Monday, she posted the videos, by Tuesday she was out of her sorority (you know, the one she claimed she wanted to be in her whole life), and by Wednesday she was out of school and on her way back home to New Jersey.  Upon learning these things, she released a statement stating she felt horrible and did a really bad thing.  When she was asked about if she considered the advice her friend gave her (on camera during the second video that was posted to which her friend advised her not to post the video), Barber even said that she was an idiot for not listening to her!  Well guess what? Your ignorance gets no sympathy from me.

Your idea of making racist videos to post on your social media pages for kicks and giggles and thinking you won’t get caught is not funny and you won’t get any leniency with Black people.  You will not get a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on as you relocate back home because you let ignorance and stupidity cost you your opportunity at being in school.  Because you thought it would be funny to post racially ignorant videos, you are now known for that label, and no one will respect you or have any pity for your behavior.  Yea, you did a really, really bad thing, but you’re an adult and you have to suffer the consequences.  And no, there is no guarantee anyone will be there to accept your apology.

To read the article in detail, or to watch the videos, click here .

We’re Tired of Companies That Always “Get it Wrong”

There are really no words to describe the outrage that appeared in social media when this picture showed up

“Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” is what the hoodie says.

Well alright. 😐

My first reaction to the hoodie was, “well, that was HORRIBLY executed and offensive as hell.” I also knew that there was going to be some extensive apology about how H&M they just “got it wrong” with their marketing.  In actuality, they issued this initial statement:

Same old story, different company.

How many times have we seen this happen over the years; a company will release a highly offensive ad or product, the public is enraged, they apologize and it is removed from their company? Now, I will be honest; was I horrifically outraged and ready to ride through my local H&M parking lot with signs and protest?  Not particularly.  Will I be shopping at H&M?  I don’t shop there now, so they weren’t really getting much business out of me anyway, *shrugs*.  They never really were a “top priority” option for me as far as clothing stores anyway, so the boycotting of their product is not something that appeals to me on that level.

What really makes me roll my eyes harder than anything on this universe, is the whole apology that eludes to someone on their team missing the mark on something that they NOW realize is highly offensive and causes some great unrest with the greater population.  I am starting to wonder (which I am 95% sure I know the answer to this) if there is any level of diversity on any of these marketing teams who have made these blaring errors.  Just someone who could say, “hey guys, before y’all send that out, you may want to rethink that; because it miiiiiiiight not be the best look”.  I really feel like if a lot of these companies’ marketing or creative teams were diversified, there would not be situations like these where the company would have to make public statements about how wrong they got it with their ad when it came out, especially when the first reaction is offense to different races and/or cultures.  If there are people of diverse races and cultures on their marketing teams, I would love to know how in the world no one thought this would not go over well for H&M.

In a time when race is a very gentle subject matter (given the President that we currently have in office especially), it is no secret that there are many people who pointing out when things are highly offensive to them.  They are not being silent about it and speaking up about how they feel.  I will not deny or downplay the way anyone feels about this child’s hoodie, because I too feel that it can cause offense for several people; however, I do know there are others who are far more angrier than I am and the apology H&M gave is not going over well as enough to win back the hearts of those who once were consumers of H&M clothing and accessories.

I hope that in time, they can come back from this, but I also hope a valuable lesson was learned by them and other companies to hopefully add more diverse minds and opinions to the decision-making process with certain ads and things that are being made.  There are so many ideas and products being put together that it is not hard for one person to look at something and think there is no problem, but another to be able to offer perspective that may be able to save public humiliation.  In a perfect world, one could only hope that when there is a well-rounded group of individuals coming together, these are the kind of things that can be discussed at that table and deemed inappropriate.  They would able to let people know when something will not possibly go over well with their consumer base, and it could save a lot of things like what is happening to H&M right now.

Silently Suffering…..

I haven’t read in full detail the situation that occurred in Charleston, SC.  I don’t believe I really will. Even at this very moment, as I speak about it, I get sick. I also get nervous, fearful, afraid, angry, upset, pissed off, numb.

I never thought I would have to live in fear, but everyday I do.  In 2015, all I have left is fear.  At first, we had to just protect our young Black men; hell, now, every Black person is a target.  There is not special type, no specific targets anymore, NO ONE IS SAFE!

I am literally sitting in my desk wondering if I even want to go to the store, because who is to say that a terrorist isn’t sitting in Wal-Mart right now, waiting to shoot it up?  Or someone is in the parking lot waiting to peg someone for just being black and looking “dangerous”. These days I feel like I could do so much as pull my phone out of my back pocket and get shot down like a dog.  It is extreme to think this way, but hell it would be irrational to not think that things like this are possible, because they are happening  almost every damn day!

I feel like I have so much I want to say, but yet cannot find the words to describe the pain and fear in my soul right now.  I just don’t know what it is going to take.  I know you can’t change people, I just….

I have no words.  I truly don’t feel like there is room for Black people in this world.

We aren’t ever going to be free, as long as there is racial injustice.  We are just slaves to that as well.