Tag: voices

The Lifecycle of Social Justice: “A Day of Silence for Michael Brown” at Columbia Law School – Stage I: We hurt

I kneel from time to time. As black kids growing up, we’re taught to pick our battles. Some aggressions are worth actively fighting against, others we learn to bear. When someone confuses me with the only other black female in a room, I politely correct him, and kneel. When a potential employer stresses his commitment to diversity and in the same breath defends his firm’s lack of diversity, I nod, feigning understanding, and kneel. When a Columbia “Public Safety” Officer is dubious about my status as a […]

The Lifecycle of Social Justice: “A Day of Silence for Michael Brown” at Columbia Law School – Stage II: We react

We debated our options regarding the structure of the protest, aware of the few hours available to plan. Someone suggested we wear all black, but we had done that already just the week before. It felt insufficient; it was insufficient. A sit-in or a rally would be too disruptive, not to mention impossible to plan and schedule on such short notice. But what about silence? Covering our mouths with duct tape would allow us to protest peacefully. It would also enable our members to actively opt-in to participate throughout the day, whenever and however it was convenient for them[…]

The Lifecycle of Social Justice: “A Day of Silence for Michael Brown” at Columbia Law School – Stage III: We strive

So how do we move forward when we find ourselves at our wit’s end? How do we plan our next steps when the sting of injustice cripples us? How do we imagine a better tomorrow when clouded by the trauma of yesterday? That’s the thing about the struggle—it demands that we lick our wounds and press on, because falling back would destroy us. In situations like this, it would be commonplace to suggest that we simply continue to hope for a brighter future. That […]

The Plight of the Gentile, Or How to Deal with the Effects of Tear Gas

The night of November 24, 2014, I was 3,000 miles away from home. I’d had the Guardian Liveblog of the Ferguson Grand Jury proceedings up, and I contemplated powering through the night, despite my 8am class the next morning. But I fell asleep. Even knowing how the movie would end, I woke up the morning of November 25 hurting. All day, on the metro on my way to class, then back home upon discovering that class had been cancelled, I fought tears. If I wept on […]

On Langston Hughes

My throat feels sore from talking. I have been talking for days. Seated in Professor Sturm’s living room with some battle-weary folk. Sitting now on my porch in snow-capped Colorado. It is peaceful and quiet here, but I can’t escape heated images of flames, of rage, of desperation. I feel overwhelmed by my own feelings of grief: that my friends and strangers alike could feel so deeply cheated by both the system and country I have been taught to revere. It makes me feel cheated too. And, it is more than disconcerting. It is gut-wrenching, tumultuous, frenzied. It can’t be tamped down […]

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