It is in the time of greatest upheaval, that artists (writers included!) get to work. Toni Morrison said that.
I have always been an activist, I think. I think I have always had the fire in me to change the world, and has never been content with the world as it is. From my passion for literacy, the freedom of my people, or the right to say what I want to say, I have always been an activist.
This galvanizing fire of activism only increased after the murder of Trayvon Martin. And Michael Brown, Jr. and Tamir Rice–who could have been my son. I remember after hearing about what happened to Trayvon through the national media, I started screaming on my personal Facebook wall with this hashtag: #OURLIVESMATTER.
I remember praying in my kitchen, tears running down my face, feeling the weight of the women that came before me who lost their sons and husbands to the whims of racists! I remember being overwhelmed with this feeling of wanting to do something, but no knowing exactly what to do!
But, being quiet is not, will not, cannot ever be an option!
In that aftermath, in that anger and confusion comes the Black Lives Matter Movement! With eight years passing from the murder of Trayvon and seven since the murder of Michael Brown, seeing the mobilization of this movement? Even in a global pandemic? It is amazing to see! I am in awe, in complete awe! I am overwhelmed at the progress, the insistence for change and the resilience that make Black people the superheroes our ancestors knew that we would be. Having that effort recognized with a nod from the committee for the Nobel Peace Prize?! Tears.
I am elated to see this! I am happy to be alive to see this, and to have been part to recording this, and weighing in as well as praying with my feet (protesting). The United Nations said the United States needed to be held accountable for the atrocities visited upon Black people in this country! So, to have the Black Lives Matter Movement to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize? It is bittersweet. It is the confirmation and affirmation of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:
“We have come so far, and have so far to go.”