September 12th at 5:00am in Seoul, Korea I listened to my brilliant, mentor, teacher, friend plead her humanity to a Police officer on the phone.
I screamed through the Zoom screen, “STOP TALKING! GET OFF THE PHONE, DON’T GO TO THE DOOR, DON’T GO OUTSIDE, HANG UP!!!”
The bile rose in my throat, my heart raced. I have watched the police taze, pinch, beat black women to death. Michelle Cusseaux, Tanisha Anderson, Pearl Golden, Yvette Smith, Aura rosier, Shelly Frey, Tarika Wilson, Rekia Boyd, Aiyan Stanley, Rekia Boyd, Eleanor Bumpers, Breonna Taylor
As a facilitator at Kimberlé Crenshaw’s African American Policy Forum “Breaking The Silence Camp,” I have held these dead black women’s mothers in my arms as they wailed and wept to Jesus for peace, for comfort, for understanding of why the lord has forsaken us.
White Jesus has forsaken us. White women and men and children betray us every day.
I am a Civil Rights baby. My mother, Anita was able to access government opportunities to move into the Jeffrey Manor area on Chicago’s South Side. It was adjacent to Pill Hill, the home of wealthy Jewish Doctors. It didn’t matter that every night another White family moved out until there were none left. My dead end street was a safe haven.
My mother had been preparing me for the opportunities she must have heard Martin Luther King prophesy, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
I had been taught to read by 4 and elocution and etiquette lessons followed. I was being raised to rise in the new world of King’s dreams.
But then “the whites” killed him.
I was only six. I don’t remember King’s death. What I remember is that my path to success seemed to be paved with yellow bricks tomb stones of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, John F Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy, Fred Hampton, Bobby Seales. Patrice Lamumba, Sam Cooke, and many more whose names I would not learn during my distinguished education at Robert A Black Elementary followed by Whitney Young high school where I attended class with Michelle Robinson who would grow up to be a FLOTUS.
My world was multicolored and racially and ethnically balanced. There were white kids, Jewish kids, Latino kids, bougie black kids…