When I first learned about George Floyd’s video, I will be the first to admit, I waited to watch. As furious as the people were, I knew it had to be bad. Watching heartbreaking, or heart wrenching videos, weigh heavily on my heart for quite some time. I carry that pain with me for a while. (Gabriel Fernandez is an example of the pain I carried for months.) But I knew I had to watch the video. I knew I had to watch it because I felt compelled to know exactly what happened. After watching the video, it wasn’t about me anymore. It wasn’t about the pain I would carry for the months to come. It wasn’t about what George Floyd did. It wasn’t about what the internet was fighting about. It was ALL about the injustice that exists in our world today. It was about realizing how naive I can be sometimes. It was about speaking up. It was about taking action. It was about bringing up the fact that racism still exists in our world. It was about #blacklivesmatter.
The best way I knew how to begin tackling such issue was to learn about it. Learn the facts, the history.
I dedicated last week to learning, absorbing, and immersing myself in documentaries, movies, podcasts, and research related to black history. I tuned in to various Instagram stories and IGTV videos highlighting perspectives from the black community. I ordered a book regarding the history of racist history in America – Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. I donated to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund and to the Black Lives Matter organization to further demonstrate my support. I discussed this topic with my husband at the dinner table and exchanged stories about what we were observing. I chanted and marched with over 60,000 people in Houston to voice our pain and hurt to the world. It was a beautiful experience – people from ALL backgrounds coming together to support George Floyd’s family and demanding the injustice to end.
A documentary that was eye opening for me was 13th – available on Netflix. I highly recommend to watch it to gain some perspective on the history of racial inequality in America. It focuses on how the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African Americans. Another great movie to watch (currently free on Amazon Prime and YouTube) is Just Mercy. The film is based on a true story – I’ll link the preview here. Oh, and if you want a kicker on how f-ed up the system is, watch Jeffrey Epstein’s series on Netflix. It is the epitome of white privilege. The point is, there are SO many reliable resources to educate ourselves about this issue. There are no excuses. I know things are not perfect in this world, and I don’t know if they will ever be, but I do believe this is an awakening. When you take a step back, and take a look at the big picture, the good by far outweighs the bad. I’ve said this before, but I will say it again, we must focus on the good. And yes, of course, address the bad when we hear or see it. Otherwise, what kind of humans would we be?
If you feel compelled to contribute to the #blacklivesmatter movement, I encourage you to do so. I linked a few resources above, however, I’ll link a list of things you can do right now to contribute here. It is a time to get uncomfortable. Let’s stop shying away from the facts. Let’s stop thinking not being racist is enough. And for the life of me, let’s stop saying all lives matter. OF COURSE THEY DO. Nobody is against that. Nobody. This is about the black race. A race that has been discriminated against for GENERATIONS. A race that has died in the hands of police officers who are supposed to SERVE and PROTECT time and time again.
Here is to future change. I am determined on backing up my thoughts and prayers with action that contributes to positive change for the black community, for future generations to come. I will continue to support the #blacklivesmatter movement. I will continue to seek educational resources. I’ve thought long and hard about what I can do to make a lasting change, a change that will impact our future leaders. And last week, while cooking dinner, I received the answer.
If you are a teacher, and would like to add a particular book related to black history to your curriculum, it would be an honor to donate copies of such relevant book. The intention is for these books to serve as a resource for many years to come. My sister is a teacher and I am aware how much comes out of your pocket to support the education of your kids. It can get pretty costly to say the least. So if this sounds like something you are interested in, please shoot me a message on Instagram or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The hope is for at least one teacher to jump onboard, however, if more than one teacher is interested, I will figure out how to make this happen.
As we pick up the pieces in the days, weeks, months, and years to come, I hope for reconciliation, forgiveness, solidarity, peace, grace, and love for all. I have faith in God’s greater plan.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
Ps. Below are beautiful and moving moments I was able to capture during the massive protest in Houston, TX on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.