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  • Writer's picturealexispjordan

Black Voices Matter - There is Power in Our Voice #BlackLivesMatter

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen..." - Winston Churchill


How are you? How are you, really?


Now that the initial shock of these far too frequent injustices has set in, have you reflected on how you’re feeling? Have you taken inventory of your mental state? I know myself enough to know that I don’t do well when I get out of my routine. Or if I’m out of the loop on things then I get into a full panic, and need to immediately find a resolution or I will feel an immense feeling of unrest (which is why I’ve felt super guilty for taking time off of social media to only come back to see there’s been MORE happening in my absence…ugh…still?).


To reflect, this anxious feeling always seems to happen out of nowhere, I start off readyyy to go, then life happens and then I get knocked right back down. There is no attack that knocks you down harder than seeing yet another black individual life taken at the expense of another instance of racism, blatantly at the hands of the oppressor as well as in the lack of support from the oppressor, and it goes without conviction.


As a consumer of media, my first recent instance (of sadly many, far too many) of a life lost was Ahmaud Arbery, murdered on camera with the killers literally sleeping peacefully in their homes for two months before they were arrested, which did not come until the footage surfaced causing a ton of warranted public outrage and the demand for justice and convictions of these murderers.


Then it was Breonna Taylor, fatally shot multiple times by the police in a raid that had nothing to do with her, or her home, murdered in her sleep, while the suspect was in custody. Not only were we disgusted, but we made our voices heard, yet again, for a senseless murder of another innocent black woman. Not only has a new law been produced to eliminate the no-knock policy, but there is an ongoing effort to arrest the officers who were responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor (We are still waiting…).


Then there was George Floyd. A 46 year old black man that lost his life due to the irresponsible, insensitive and incredibly heinous actions of police officers, one of which stood on watch while the remaining three were kneeling on top of this unarmed man, with one of the three officers with his knee dug into Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while he begged for his life with his last breaths. All of this caught on camera, all as a result of the police being called on Floyd over a potential counterfeit $20 bill. This is when protests erupted, with voices of all demographics and races and classes came together to demand the justice and recognition of the significance of black lives. The entire world was in an uproar, crying for justice via peaceful protests, riots, looting, and their own experiences of police brutality, before all four officers were finally charged for the murder and accompaniment of murder of George Floyd.


This after all of the years before my time and during my life that we are seeing instances of murder of black body after black body. Begging for justice for it to just be turned down like the rest, yet again? Even after the intense protests surrounding these murders, there have been so many more that have not gotten the amount of media attention that they deserve. So many to the point where I can’t keep up (fearfully, knowing that it took two months before charges were brought against Arbery’s killers). Rayshard Brooks, another black man murdered running away in the opposite direction from police while intoxicated shot in the back and left without aid for over two minutes, Oluwatoyin (Toyin) Salau, another black woman left raped and abandoned on the road for dead despite seeking help from her abusers to be overlooked and not investigated, and Robert Fuller, another body hanging from a tree and another lynching ruled off as a life taken on their own accord with no attempt to find the true killers. Yet…again…?


Nah.


Not this time. I am tired.


I am fighting for what’s mine. I’m not sitting back and letting someone take advantage of my exhaustion and them get away with what rightfully belongs to me. Belongs to us. I’ve done it before, I’d “get it the next time”, but this time, I was done with it.


This time, I have to…


We have to keep moving forward through this horrific time. This is incredibly traumatizing for our community. This is an attack on the world during a time when we were most vulnerable. And already tense from being in our homes in fear as a result of COVID-19 for the last three months. Tensions are incredibly high and are patience is thin. We are lacking in social and emotional support, physical touch, acts of service, communication, everything right now. We are not getting the same love we used to get pre-quarantine, and even more so now there is an evident divide that not only has been brewing but has overflowed in the form of hatred via individualized racism, mass police brutality, and the ongoing history of systemic racism, between skin tones. Still…between…skin tones…in 2020…


Come on now…


But I have incredible hope that this is the right time. We are so well equipped with what our ancestors and greats could never dream of having. We have activists, politicians, attorneys, doctors, all within our own respective communities. We have individual skills and we have gifts, and we have to use those skills tactfully. We cannot utilize people who need to be orchestrating and organizing behind the scenes and doing jobs that someone else may have the physical strength to use to get the job completed most effectively. We need a strategy and we need to think, we already know the enemy looks for a reason to work against us. It is the biggest gaslight in history to provoke anyone and then retaliate because they’ve responded. The responses from the opposition has been shameful. The shame that there are some who are more angry that Amy Cooper’s dog’s life was in danger than Christian Cooper’s in the instance that she called the police to lie and indicate that a “black man was threatening” her life… As it is to see the life of a black man less than that of a dog.


I digress…


We are tired. We are fed up. And we’re still fighting, even after all of these injustices. The countless number of black men, women and children continuing to lose their lives even after the public protests, riots and defenses is unacceptable. Many more have joined in the effort to support Black lives and demonstrate that they matter. Just shy of three weeks ago, I went to a protest in the city of Wilmington and I have never felt a more intense moment of power and support. I heard war cries. I heard the pain in yet another mother’s scream. I’ve heard the chants from mouths of every skin color screaming “Black Lives Matter!”. And as we continue, we get louder, and we get the attention from those who need to know that we are not letting up this time for what is rightfully ours.


Black Lives Matter. Black voices matter.


And while no easy feat, we have made incredible strides in a short amount of time to begin the processes of changing the world and how we as Black members are treated, recognized and respected. Aside from the countless posts from our favorite brands speaking out and standing in solidarity with us, aside from the numerous statues being torn down as a result of cities doing their research to know the history of these killers that have been celebrated, aside from the nationwide recognition and encouragement to take the holiday of Juneteenth off as a recognized holiday nationally, while these are appreciated, this is not what we are asking for. The conversations are being had to abolish the police, Minneapolis has already begun the process of disbanding their police force and creating a new public safety model as a result of our voices calling for these systems put in place to be completely obliterated. We are fighting every day for justice. We still have work to do, laws to change, systems to abolish. But we are doing the work.



There are no small parts…no amount of effort is “not enough” as long as you are doing your part. We have to keep encouraging ourselves and we have to keep encouraging each other, we have to keep going.


There is so much power in our voices…I’m proud of us…


Don’t let up…





Links are included here for petitions, places to donate, and numbers to call with scripts for various #blacklivesmatter occurrences and causes.




Thankfully Yours,


Alexis P. Jordan




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