The Great Awakening

It's May 26th, 2020.

I hesitate,

then click to watch

the bystanders videos.

 I force myself to


all of them

until the end.

'Don't look away'

I tell myself on repeat.

Minute after painful minute.

"I can't breathe"

(I hear more than 20 times).

"They'll kill me, they'll kill me."

"Momma, I love you."

"Tell my kids I love them."

"I'm dead."

9 agonizing minutes later,

the knee finally removed from the neck.

Limp and lifeless,

a black male is


onto a stretcher.

No explanation is needed. 


The footage will forever stay with me.

George's pleading,





it has been forever burned 

onto the retina of my soul.


I cannot unsee it,

nor do I want to.

Black Lives Matter
Heart of Gold

I was home, alone,

Covid-19 sheltering in place.

Since I had nowhere else to be, 

nothing pressing to do,

I sat

and stayed

with the discomfort.

I wept.

 I sobbed.

Something exploded inside.

My heart broke

but it also awakened.

Why did this happen?

How is this possible?


I set to work:






The veil of systemic racism and

white privilege 

was finally falling from my eyes.

Words of a Don McLean song started running through my head:

"Now I understand

What you tried to say to me

And how you suffered for your sanity

And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen

They did not know how 

Perhaps they'll listen now."


And I wondered...

What would Van Gogh do?

Black Lives Matter Art

"As long as a man has a golden heart, it does not matter whether he has green blood or blue skin!"

- Mehmet Murat Ildan

"I can't breathe." - George Floyd

"Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.

You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg." - Maya Angelou

Black Lives Matter Rachel Oliver

After learning about Black History in Britain

and discovering so much I never knew,

it occurred to me that I also knew nothing about 

Black History in the place I currently reside:


Upon sharing my discoveries

with my Californian friends,

it soon became evident

they didn't know either.



In 1849,

forty-eight state delegates gathered in Monterey

and voted to join the Union.

California was declared a 'FREE' state.

Many of these delegates were also miners and the majority thought

slavery was an unfair advantage in the mines.

The delegates who made California 'free'

 did so largely on the basis of the mining economy.

They did not extend civil rights to California's African Americans or Native Americans.

Both groups were denied the right to vote

and the right to testify in court.

Slavery was banned in California because they were worried that groups of 

black miners would pool their wealth and

wield more influence than white miners.


Equality was never on offer.

Keep reading:

"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."

- Leo Tolstoy

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