To say I’ve been sitting with grief would be the understatement of 2020. In the last few weeks watching the countless acts of violence, directed at black people, this grief has taken on a life of its own. Only recently did I come to terms with the fact that during this uprising a piece of me died, and it has been freeing.
See in this moment, I witnessed the death of so much that has held me back from stepping into my full authentic self.
What died were the inhibitions I once harbored, the worry about the repercussions that would follow, speaking my truth. It was the sense that I was not strong, or capable enough to join the conversation. It was in essence the death of fear, and I am not alone.
During the early weeks of Covid-19 when many of us found ourselves homebound and glued to news or social media, an interesting truth began to emerge. America’s dirty little secret, the one we have hidden from, for far too long permeated through our homes as the inequities of our nation were put on full display.
A picture emerged of who was able to work from home, who was first to be laid off, who had no home to return to, who couldn’t afford to purchase two weeks of supplies, who couldn’t home school their children, who sat in prison or awaited deportation, who was disproportionately impacted and killed by the virus, and whose bodies continued to be policed in the midst of a pandemic.
The ability to turn a blind eye evaporated overnight as we watched an endless loop. With no escape, we collectively had to sit with that knowledge and it primed us.
Institutional racism sits at the heart of it all and it seems we may in part be ready as a nation to acknowledge that.
It is by no coincidence that we all seemed to get the metaphorical memo that said, ENOUGH. The protests we are witnessing are for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others. Our anger and grief is for 401 years of oppression and a systematic denial of our very humanity. We stand united in protests that now span 50 states and an increasing number of countries. This space, this time feels different. People from all racial groups, ethnicities, and religions, joining together crying out for justice.
Is this the tipping point we have been building towards? That remains to be seen, as outrage without action is empty.
What I do know is that what was birthed, in this moment was a fire, the kind that winds its way through your very consciousness. It has surfaced a new voice, a renewed strength, and quiets any notion of going along to get along. It is the birth of a new day.