Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Activists Take it to the Streets of Atlanta in Response to Zimmerman's "Not Guilty" Verdict

Last night's rally and march through downtown Atlanta was monumental, to say the least. Having been raised by a father who was an ex-Black Panther, I've listened to stories about "Black Power" and the 1963 March on Washington all my life, and longed for the day when my generation would finally get mad enough to stand up, and remain standing. I believe the time has finally come...

Spawned by George Zimmerman's "not guilty" verdict in the nationally publicized Trayvon Martin case, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the Atlanta University Center (AUC), the world's largest consortium of African American institutions of higher learning, to stand in solidarity against the system of injustice that continues to wreak havoc on our communities across the nation. The crowd continued to grow as we listened to several religious leaders from the community and a few words from hip-hop artist Lil' Scrappy (don't ask me why..I still don't know what he said lol). I'm not sure who coordinated the speaker line-up, but I couldn't help but think to myself that there MUST be some real revolutionary leaders somewhere in Atlanta other than preachers whose accolades do not expand beyond having "worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." in some obscure way -_- This is not to negate the value of the work they do (whatever that might be), but their antiquated messages of "join my church" and "I did something great 40+ years ago" seemed to fall on deaf ears. So I was pleasantly surprised when a young sister from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement rendered a powerful speech encouraging African Americans to stand together to rebuild our communities by implementing systems that counteract those which continue to fail us. The passion and conviction with which she spoke served as fuel (not that we needed any) for the 3 mile trek to the CNN Center.
There really aren't any words to describe what happened next..I've been an activist for almost 10 years, and I have never experienced the type of synergy that was created in Atlanta and across America following this controversial case. I cannot count the number of times my White activist friends have asked me why more Black people won't get involved. (The sociology of this issue is so deep. I'll save that for another blog). However, it was an honor to walk with my brothers and sisters (White, Black, & Latino) in a oneness that many of us have never known. I even took my entire tribe (yes, all 6 kids & now I need a spa day). As we were leaving, my 6yr old said, "I wish we could get justice for real" as if marching through the streets pumping her fists and screaming "NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!" was not real justice. Hmmm??? Nevertheless, we stood up! And we're still standing! Now let's put our hands to the W-O-R-K! Let the organizing begin for some and continue for others. As the matrix said: We're all here to do, what we're all here to do. So whatever that is for you...get to it!

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