It breaks my heart to follow up a weekend full of Black joy with Black pain. But that’s what it means to be Black.
June 19th was Juneteeth, a holiday that symbolizes the liberation of slaves in the state of Texas. It’s the “Black Passover” except we don’t just have one Moses. We have many Moseses, men and women who felt God call them to follow the treacherous to safety. Some followed the North Star, others followed their hearts. Many followed the political road maps set up for us. Liberation. Black liberation. Freedom.
Not sure if we thought we’d be living in Hell but here we are. If our liberation would be followed up with mass incarceration. But again, here we are.
Watching Brown bodies — children — imprisoned for simply following their family to freedom. No one leaves home unless they have to. No one seeks sanctuary unless their lives depends on it. You’re willing to fail if that means you can be free. My ancestors knew that better than anyone else.
So I know how it feels to be confined because of your quest for freedom.
Jimmy Wopo was about to make it out of Pittsburgh but he didn’t. He was about to see new places, meet new people. But now he can’t. At 21, he won’t get that chance. His freedom was stolen by bullets.
What a blow to a weekend that was about love. About everything being love. About Black excellence. About the freedom to live and be in love. To love is to live.
But then another life cut short. At 17. By police. Again. 20 minutes away from where I live. A place that I love.
You become numb to police shootings. Sad to become numb to the loss of life but here we are. I don’t know anything about Antwon Rose. I only know that he had a life that deserved a chance to be lived and loved. To lose it to the people sworn to protect that right to live and love makes me sick. But we’ve been here. And despite what we may found out, that kid should still be here.
Now he’s separated from his family, in a place that he doesn’t belong. Because someone didn’t value his life. And his right to live out his freedom.
The cycle continues.