The Fight for Justice for All Marginalized People Must Continue.
Illustration By: Noa Denmon
The outrageous and deeply unfortunate ruling concerning the murder of Breonna Taylor shook me deeply. I was not surprised at all by the decision, but it burned intensely. Ever since I was a little girl, I was taught to be proud of my heritage, proud of the accomplishments and resilience of my ancestors and to stand tall on the shoulders of the giants who ushered me here. The brilliance of Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator, philanthropist and civil rights activist, moved me to become a teacher and principal. Maya Angelou’s words and wisdom guided me through some of my darkest times. Madam C.J. Walker brought out the competitor and hard worker that I knew was inside me all along. Black women have shouldered the burdens and pain our nation has inflicted on them for centuries with strength and power. Black women have provided, nurtured, uplifted, created, inspired, broken-through, educated and so much more for this nation. We deserve more respect from this country. Breonna Taylor deserves to be alive. Her life was far more valuable than drywall and possessions.
Even in this tragedy, with support from my community, I choose to continue standing on the shoulders of the giants who have come before me, even though my knees feel a bit wobbly right now. The fight for justice for all marginalized people must continue. Our ancestors didn’t give up because they knew we were coming and were entitled to a more equitable and happy life. My children, your children, our children deserve better. Let’s all continue to build upon the legacy of these, and other influential Black women - American women.
No matter what, I’m proud to be a Black woman. It’s an honor. I hope all of you and our scholars feel the same, if not deeper, pride in being who you are — unapologetically. No more feeling like we are not worthy to have a seat at the table, no more self-deprecation, and definitely no more believing the lies that we don’t possess excellence. Our very existence proclaims our excellence. Let your light shine. Let your voice rise.
For Breonna, for your ancestors, for our children.