Six years ago, I was outraged. I first saw Trayvon Martin on Facebook. My sister held up her phone and there was his body, laying on the ground. He was life less, still to the point of unreality.
I thought it was just one of those Facebook things — fake news before it had a name.
But the caption had told it all. You know who didn’t tell me? A news outlet. I learned about it around the way and dealt with it without a colleague in the news business writing about it.
When it was my time to do the story, I wanted to do it right. Really right.
“It could have been my child”, the headline read. Yes, it could have. And it was most children after that. And men. And women. They all shared the same thing — death at the hands of someone in the name of protection.
And so we #saytheirname. And we keep saying their name because the list is bottomless. The list is still going and there are more names on it every day. I don’t have enough voice for the entire list but it doesn’t stop me from being its witness.
We keep marching in the streets. This time it’s about guns and schools and I wonder if we forgot that time when we marched about guns and black skin. Is it all the same? Is it different? I don’t know anymore because one march melts into another and another.
There so much to march for.
I am exhausted.
But we keep resisting.
All I know is that persistence is another word for stubborn and I have enough callouses on my heels from digging my heels in to have the definition seared into my skin.
She was the Brown in the Brown vs Board of Education, a case that obliterated separate but equal . Her father, Rev. Oliver Brown was the lead in the class action lawsuit. Even after winning the case, Linda was still barred at the school she wanted to attend. She was hounded, her graded monitored.
The aftermath? The Little Rock Nine. Gov. Wallace on the steps of the University of Alabama. Rosa Parks. The work of Dr. King. The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Change comes. Change requires stubbornness. Change requires respite to look at how far we’ve come, even if it’s only an inch.
Even if it isn’t always on page 1A.
Just a reminder,