Monday, July 22, 2013

They Must Take It!

On Sunday, as I put my frustrations about the Zimmerman verdict into weeding my garden "Coffins For Head of States" came blasting through my speakers. I was immediately reminded of the closing performance of Fela! on Broadway, when the cast brings out coffins to lay them at the steps of the court building. I kept the song on repeat, later tweeting  how amazing I it would be to organize and lay empty coffins with the names of slain innocents on the steps of American courts.  I began  searching the internet for a clip of that powerful scene and came  across this statement from a cast members.

"In 2007 I was cast in what would be the dopest musical on Broadway in 2009. This was Fela! As we work shopped and created this piece, our director Bill T. Jones asked us to decorate a coffin with name of someone who was close to us who died unjustly. During the last number in the show, we would walk on stage carrying coffins singing Fela's "Coffin Head Of State." I decided to put the words "I AM Sean Bell." Bill said someone who is close to you. While I never knew Sean Bell personally, I know him all to well. I know Trayvon Martin. Michael Griffin, Amadu Diallo, Emmett Till and far too many more to name. They represent my 14 year old black son growing up in America. People say next week we will all forget. Here's one woman who will never forget. I am reminded everyday I look into the eyes of my son that young black males are endangered species in America. How to survive and be at the top of your game is an on going conversation I have with my son. Fela carried his mother's coffin and placed it on the steps of the capital in Nigeria. Today I carry Trayvon's coffin, Sean's coffin, and every other innocent black male child's coffin who was gunned down because the gunman felt their lives were worthless. Black male lives have no value in America. All of their coffins need to be placed on the steps of the Supreme Court. Replace the stars on the flag with their coffins. This is what America represents "They Must Take It."  -Iris Wilson
The message in this song is plain. There is blood on the hands of the courts, this country and it's time to send a reminder that they are responsible for the death and continued injustices. We won't allow you to just bury their memories away so we will deliver these coffins and YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT!

I deliver these coffins* as a reminder that Black Lives Matter and we won't stop until this corrupt country changes!

**Shout out to The Jaded NYer for the coffins and her skills with photoshop

Saturday, July 20, 2013

100 Cities Vigils For Trayvon Martin

Reverend Al Sharpton and The National Action Network will be organizing vigils across the country today. If you're in New York the vigil will be held here

12 (NOON)
Sybrina and Jahvaris Fulton will join Rev. Al Sharpton at this location

 Several other cities will be participating, all information can be found here:  National Action Network.

If you are able please go out and support, if not please consider donating to the Trayvon Martin Fund as well as HopeMob.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

America: No Place For My Sons

Like most of America I've been watching, crying and praying about the George Zimmerman trial. Sometimes I think the amount of time I invested in watching it was crazy, but I needed to see the outcome. 

This weekend when the announcement of a verdict came across the screen, I had just finished nursing my 5-month-old. We were laying on the bed, giggling as he tried to catch the toy I dangled in front of him. CJ was in his room singing “Gangam Style” and dancing while my husband tried to keep his eyes open long enough to eat his dinner – a typical American family on a hot hazy Saturday night.
As I watched the reporters scramble and the defendant come back in I felt the air get thick, I felt the tears roll down my cheek.  I felt myself choke because they said “Not Guilty.” It was blurry. I had to speak the questions running through my mind "Did they say not guilty to murder 2?" I sat and stared at the screen waiting, because I knew the jury was going to say guilty to manslaughter. Guilty of SOMETHING, but it never came.

At some point I picked up the baby I was rocking him, calming him and crying. He wasn't crying, he didn't need to be calmed down, I did. CJ saw my face and asked what was wrong? I told him the first of many fibs "Nothing Pop,  Mommy just hurt herself,  now go on and dance because I wanted to see the routine"  He laughed and ran back into his room.  My eyes stinging from tears, I watched as my husband who seconds earlier could not stay awake, turned off the TV and went outside.  I didn't have the heart to follow him to make sure he was okay, I knew he wasn't. * They killed another man* I sat there hopelessly rocking my baby and thinking, “How in the HELL am I supposed to raise my sons here, God? HOW?!” I sat for a long time – thinking, crying and hoping for the worse to happen to that killer.  I called my older sister, I needed someone to tell me it was going to be okay, but even I knew it wouldn't be.  I looked out the window, all the young men were sitting (where were they sitting).  “Fuck You, America” is the look they should have had. Instead, they looked defeated. They looked scared. This is the reality my sons will face.  This country will not allow us to be just another typical American family. No matter the jobs we hold, corporations we run or houses we own. We will always be lesser than. As I put the baby to bed and sat outside with my husband I wished I could take his pain away.

 We were forever changed by this verdict.  Not because we ever believed we belonged, I'm far too militant for that. The change has more to do with preparing our sons to navigate this country that refuses to change so they can stay alive.  
This morning in an opinion post by my favorite writer Eugene Robinson he summed up my feelings about this case in one line, "Trayvon Martin was fighting more than George Zimmerman that night. He was fighting prejudices as old as American history, and he never had a chance."  Rest in paradise, Trayvon.