Black Lives Matter

"Hundreds of people shut down the intersection of Broad and Chestnut for Mike Brown" via Progressive Philly Rising
“Hundreds of people shut down the intersection of Broad and Chestnut for Mike Brown” via Progressive Philly Rising

I heard the crowd passing on the streets below my apartment building about half an hour ago.

“Hands up, don’t shoot!”

I’ve lived in Philadelphia for over 14 years. The last four of them I have spent in an area called Center City, just a few blocks away from City Hall–which is to say, there are few protests in this city that don’t pass near my street at some point. The picture above is about 2 blocks from where I live.

I have never heard people’s voices as clearly as I did tonight. Not once. Not ever.

“Hands up, don’t shoot!”

Even up here, through my 15th floor windows, every word was clear.

As they passed up to the next street, the voices got quieter, then faded away. The police sirens began to be audible at about that point but didn’t last too long. At least not close enough that I could hear them. Even the choppers overhead seem to be almost all gone now.

The announcement out of Ferguson was, sad to say, what I expected. Even if the grand jury had indicted, one legal victory at one point in one case for one senseless death, out of so many senseless deaths, would have been a mere teaspoon of justice when what our nation needs is an ocean. Still, I find myself moved tonight to prayerful words:

From Philadelphia to Ferguson, walking the streets like Mike Brown or climbing dark staircases like Akai Gurley, asleep on the couch like Aiyana Stanley-Jones or waiting for a train like Oscar Grant–may all mothers’ sons be safe tonight. May all fathers’ daughters be well.

Black lives matter.

True justice matters. May we find our way closer to that peace ere long.

Image from http://www.voicesofyouth.org/ h/t Dara Mats
Image from http://www.voicesofyouth.org/ (h/t Dara Mats)

4 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter

  1. This is so frustrating. So sad that racism gets internalized so people can’t see that they are expressing it. I suspect that’s what’s happened here. Hopefully our society will evolve to overcome our racism.

    Like

    1. There are times when words feel like such a puny response. What are small whispers of breath against the daily violence perpetrated upon so many bodies?

      Then I remember: Language is the best weapon I can wield. Best raise it high.

      Liked by 1 person

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