One year ago, most of us never heard of Ferguson, Missouri. We grew up knowing that unarmed Black men were targets but largely that was reserved for the inner cities Cities like Chicago, New York, Oakland, and Miami.
We had never heard of Sanford, Florida (Trayvon Martin), Mckinney, Texas (Dajerria Becton) or Waller County TX (Sandra Bland).
The murders in these small towns have been a brutal reminder to America, that the CAUSE of the riots that took place in Newark, Baltimore, Watts, Detroit, DC and Chicago between the late 1950’s and early 1970’s, were never resolved.
Like many other American issues, it was brushed aside and replaced with the promise of prosperity. Purchase a home in this area, and racism will not follow you. Fill your new home with all these pretty things, and racism will leave you alone. Buy these suits and ties and we will not kill you like we did your precious hero Dr. King.
The very suburbs that were created to keep Black folks out, have now become pressure cookers of social injustice. Many of these small southern towns never expected the reverse migration that has taken place over the past 20 – 25 years.
Again, we have been bamboozled and we find ourselves yet again explaining to our oppressors and their allies that our sons and daughters have an absolute right to make poor youthful choices without, the consequence of being killed.
We are again faced with the harsh criticism of Black parenting when a Black child shoplifts, but young white shoplifters get the excuse of youthful folly.
One year ago we were reminded as Michael Browns body laid in the southern heat for 4 hours, and dogs were used to deter freedom of peaceful speech, and voices of oppression were demonized that we have never really been free.
#BlackLivesMatter was born out of this day. It was created by three writers who declared to the world that our bodies matter. In a world that dismisses everything about us, from the absolute marvel of Serena Williams, to the pure genius of President Barak Obama, we are never good enough.
Until EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN can walk the streets without the thought process of being killed because of skin tone, until every mother raising a Black son does not brace herself consciously or unconsciously for his funeral, none of us are free.