They Reminisce Over Another Black Death


This post was originally going to be made on July 26th after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It didn't make but somehow I knew I would revisit the topic....

On July 26th, 2014 I wrote a post about how being Black in America was the new death sentence. It was around the same time I was becoming mentally and physically drained of discovering Black injustices. It was weighing heavily on me negatively affecting my health.

Fast forward two years later in the month of July, Black America finds ourselves continually questioning racial progress as the number of Black controversial deaths continue to rise. I've always said no matter how many times another high profiled case may occur there will be a new poster child for Black Injustices and today her name is Korryn Gaines. It's the simple reality of the modern day lynchings in America. It's one I refuse to accept because I know there's much more to life than accepting Blackness as an automatic death sentence,

With Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Korryn Gaines being added on to the long list of unjustified Black deaths in America, I don't know what to write. For so long I've been invested in these issues. I was motivated as a youngster to change the dynamics of what my artists like 2Pac were talking about regarding the relationship between America and Black people.

Ever since my childhood for years I've been asking questions. I remember seeing the "difference" in public schools in the city versus the burbs. I remember bringing up the Scottsboro Boys case in class when no one taught us our history. I remember the policing of Black students. I remember when I first experienced colorism. I remember feeling damn again when each time a cold blooded murderer got away. I couldn't bring myself to understand why my justice system keeps failing Black lives. Why does my justice system keep failing the "American values" we hold ourselves to be self-evident? Yet more and more through this pain, I find myself leaning on my community.

I want nothing more than to love a brotha and sista. In times like this, it makes me eager to be a BLACK ASS WOMAN WITH A BLACK ASS MAN, HAVE BLACK ASS KIDS AND TEACH THEM BLACK ASS THINGS (yeah I did still the quote).

But I will always remember it is conditional when I do have kids to teach them how to survive being Black in America. If I have a Black girl with dark skin I will have to explain how she already has three strikes against her. If I have a Black boy I will have to teach him that in the eyes of some who protect and serve his young Black body will be perceived as an adult.

In  2012, it was Rekia Boyd. That summer I remember watching Latasha Harlin's aunt on Uprising a documentary about the L.A Riots and Hip-Hop. She stated something that forever resonated with me,specifically pertaining to the anger felt in the Black community: "a storm is brewing and sooner or later it will start to boil over". Then it was Trayvon Martin.

In 2014, Michael Brown and John Crawford were added to the list of unjust Black deaths. Then came others. Two years later in 2016 in the month of July, we arrive yet again with the same questions we asked before. The same wounds are being opened with little time to heal. It's disgusting that every couple of days there's a new hashtag. Every year we have to ask why is it a different world from where we come from? Every month we have to proclaim #Blacklivesmatters and #SAYHERNAME. I've seen more hashtags than effective resolutions. 

I'm steady reminiscing over Black Deaths but in this time of reflection, I'm also considering what I can do for my community to raise awareness. Whether this be investing in Black businesses, Black youth and expanding my cognizance of Blackness I'm hoping others too can find their purpose in strengthening our community. It may be as simple as spending time at your local boys and girls club or checking in on another brotha and sista even when times are good. But, I can't front...  no matter what we choose to do, we'll always be a target.