Updated: Apr 19, 2021
Hello framily. Yep, you read that correctly, that's how I refer to my tribe of family and friends. And because the universe has aligned our paths, by leading you here, that now includes you too!
There are moments in our lives when we must stop, ponder and ask ourselves what next?!? It is at these intersections that we may choose to continue spinning the infinite wheels of our minds or give in to the flow of where God and the universe is leading us.
Last night I experienced one of those moments and chose the latter. It's been a while since I have written a blog post, choosing to focus most of my time on the construction of the overall site. But last night shifted something in me to do it anyway. By it I mean, writing for the sake of writing, moving in my own flow and purpose, despite whether this post has an official home or not.
I had just arrived home, as many of you may relate, tired and exhausted from the day. I did what most do and started prepping for dinner. It was in that moment I was interrupted by the triggering sound of police sirens.
In that moment, I was instantly reminded of a video I saw months ago of Anjanette Young, who like myself, was also preparing for her nightly routine when police raided her apartment, detaining her as she stood naked in her home pleading to them that they had made a mistake. A mistake it was! They were at the wrong address. Anjanette, a law abiding citizen, had indeed NOT committed a crime.
The Chicago police department did not simply make a mistake by choosing the wrong house. But that they did not see her, hear her or respect the body of a naked woman simply because this woman was a naked Black woman. For 40 minutes she stood naked, afraid and handcuffed while several officers, supposedly trained in public service ram shacked her home, harassing her.
I share this story because fortunately for Anjanette she lived but Breonna Taylor did not. Black people do not protest against racism so that others will understand. We know that this will likely not be the case. We plead and protest, hoping it brings awareness and empathy to the inhumane brutality and systems of hatred that has and still fuels this country today.
Last week alone we watched an unarmed,13-year-old, Adam Toledo be shot and killed by the police just 4 days after US Army lieutenant Caron Nazario in uniform was pepper sprayed during a "routine" traffic stop on the same day 20-year-old Daunte Wright was also killed at the hands of police, simultaneously during the trial of George Floyd, who was also murdered last year by a police officer.
Last night as I listened to the sirens ring out , I became painfully aware, once again, that I too, at any moment, for any given reason, in the land of the free, could be the next news headline. It is also the reason that I feel empowered now more than ever to use the vehicle, aka Expozher, to use my voice while God has gifted me with the privilege.
Unlike blue lives, Black lives are real lives. We do not have the privilege of undressing at the end of the day as a way to retire our skin. Every day we awake, vividly aware of this fact. We do this all while reading social media posts of friends who are not Black, desiring to make America great again or proclaiming all lives matter, seeming to know something which we have yet to achieve. Yet, amidst the traumatizing events we are still expected to show up for ourselves, our businesses, friends, family etc. Remarkably, with grace, dignity, and beauty, we do! This does not however negate the mental impact these daily consumptions of racism, bigotry, and systematic oppression has on our lives. It is traumatizing. My experience, though minor in comparison to those that have lost their lives, is still detrimental to my mental well being. These experiences however shocking they may be are real, familiar and saddening, and despite being rich or poor, good or bad, Black Americans relate to it. #thisisanAmericanstory
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Video of Anjanette Young