The Great Awakening
It's May 26th, 2020.
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."
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.
GEORGE FLOYD HAS BEEN MURDERED
The footage will forever stay with me.
it has been forever burned
onto the retina of my soul.
I cannot unsee it,
nor do I want to.
I was home, alone,
Covid-19 sheltering in place.
Since I had nowhere else to be,
nothing pressing to do,
with the discomfort.
Something exploded inside.
My heart broke
but it also awakened.
Why did this happen?
How is this possible?
I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!
I set to work:
The veil of systemic racism and
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?
"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
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.
FREEDOM & GOLD
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.
"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."
- Leo Tolstoy
20% of sales from this original piece and limited edition prints will go back to
BLACK LIVES MATTER SACRAMENTO
Over to YOU!
How will you respond?
Some Antiracism resources to get you started: