It’s hard to put my feelings into words. To describe how it feels to live in a world where a wall receives more justice than a black woman who took what would become her last breaths in what the DA refuses to acknowledge as a murder. The grief is a heavy load that weighs down the entire body. It appears curable by a sleep that won’t come or mollified by a peace that seems just beyond reach.
For the last four months, the days have passed inconceivably fast, yet today passed uncharacteristically slowly. It is almost as if today’s time bore the burden that black people have carried for four hundred years and carry each day moving forward.
The grey skies that framed my morning conveyed my interiority; the grayness embodying the cultural effect of blackness merged with whiteness. The color illustrates a heavy heart and the frantic search through my mind for purpose. Everyone talks and retweets about the black women as an unprotected entity, but few reference the paralyzing pressure to protect one another. It’s a hybrid of “that could have been me,” “I should have been there” or “I could, should have done something, more to save my sister or brother…” I remember the same feelings of heartbreak upon encountering the Kalief Browder story and learning of Sandra Bland’s tragic departure and concealed murder.
The deaths themselves constitute calamity, however, the true misfortune is the circular trajectory afforded to the African in America— a trajectory depicted in the shared date and systemic fate of Breonna Taylor and Emmett Till.
They illustrate a shared experience and cyclical disenfranchisement inevitably encountered by black people seeking to simply live, breathe, whistle, or sleep. Their murders take refuge in the minds of those who couldn’t save them from what they were only a circumstance from experiencing themselves. My words do not work to convey helplessness; rather, I seek to convey a systemic set up that betrays this spirit of this country as bound to the battered black body.
The spirit of Alberta Odell Jones watches over Kentucky, as Marie Anqelique does Canada, and Laura Nelson does Oklahoma. Collaboratively they encompass black female murders who compose an alternative story to an anti-black his story. Their murders comprise the republic for which America stands, and their obscurity delineates the need for America to protect the myth of meritocracy. The myth must continue to posit hard work, not black murder, for white “success” and the American lifestyle. In all cases, the murderers, white men, remain without the systemic shame for their sins. This truth haunts the air as the black female present watches a daughter, sister, and peer become an ancestor, a sacrificial lamb, that won’t end with her premature departure. The truth watches as a young woman joins a chorus of black injustice whose corpses and the legacy they leave behind sing of a supremacy that promises to repeat itself until we are all either physically absent or cognitively bound to fear.
A fear. An Absence. A Trauma. Intensified when its a person like you looking reading the racism this white settler space calls laws.
Attorney General Daniel’s Cameron’s face has become a trigger, though he’s a political bullet who occupies his present position solely to pierce the flesh of the black community. Honestly, he triggered me even before I knew who he was because the look in his eye betrays a familiar look. His eyes betray a common avarice for whiteness despite his racial inheritance. These poisonous intentions disguised as ambition inundate the streets, the hallways of the ivory tower, and the social media stratosphere. These are often the same men who guise their lust for the white male’s female equivalent as being “open to who they connect with.” Cameron encompasses the goal for the educated negro, who these philanthropist donate to nurture with lauded contributions seemingly tailored to black youth. He is the hope and dream of white hegemony, the rope they use to hang us, but he too is a son, brother, and peer, an apple who rots in his plight to be white in an anti-black world. Cameron, even if your cultural betrayal gets you a seat on their court, you’ll never be one of them. Similarly, no shirt, no hashtag, no magazine cover will bring Breonna back to us.
This dual loss of black humanity incites a deep pain and deep disappointment in what I have never believed in and what surely never believed in me. These scenarios, which replay the hurtful moments that decorate the generations before us depicts black togetherness as holding hands across hurt and continually being left with questions to which only the departed could answer in truth. Nevertheless, the duplicitous death that the black community witnessed on the news Wednesday afternoon delineates exactly why we must live, why the hurt must incite us to learn and study what precedes us so that our trajectory, from this day forward, will be a linear.
And while this is what I believe, this inspiration remains in constant need of rediscovery. I suppose this is a shared experience as well.