July 10, 2016

A Movement

This is all happening, right now, right here, all around us. Our country's refusal to heal the wounds of slavery 151 years later has brought us to this historical moment. I don't want black men murdered by the police, systematically or otherwise. I don't want police murdered by black men. I don't want any of this violence. But this is all inevitable, isn't it? We are a country that has lived by the sword since its inception. We fetishize guns, yet we lament over gun violence. We have legally sanctioned the murdering and maming of black people as a part of the "southern way of life" since the dawn of the 18th century. Yet we are perplexed, if not outraged, by black people simply proclaiming#blacklivesmatter just as much as white lives.

I am the mother of 3 black sons. I live in fear every day God gives me that someone who sees no value in their black lives and black bodies will murder, maim, or incarcerate them basically because they are black and therefore don't matter. My middle son, John, did an extremely brave thing Saturday night. He exercised his freedoms of citizenry and marched in the #blacklivesmatter protest in downtown Atlanta. I was at once proud and petrified. It had to be done. If not young black men like him, then who? But we know all too well how these things can end when black bodies are the ones facing off with police. But my son is a young, educated, black man now. He is a student at GSU and he is learning civil disobedience as a strategy for social change and social justice. My husband and I have raised him as an advocate, if not a radical. I applaud his bravery. I will always fear for his life. He came home in one piece (thank God). He is a man, a black man, and his life matters.