A short review of a conversation with the women behind the Black Lives Matter movement, published on YELP on 2/17/2016.
I went to hear Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi at the Peter W. Stott Center last night. It was meaningful not for what they've done (though I bow my head) or what they said (though I found phrases of inspiration) but for bringing an us together in space and time so that we could look into each others eyes - or at the backs of each other's heads - and align our bodies for a moment of yes. I had to leave to attend to my son's bedtime but wanted to share these thoughts:
The women who co-founded Black Lives Matter changed the conversation around race by creating a platform for people to participate in the river that flows towards peace freedom and justice. Yet let us not look to these women for wisdom or inspiration. Let us turn to the people in the audience, who are the people we pass on the street, with whom we experience this historic moment in a geographic way. And specifically, let us turn to the young people whose eyes and consciousness can see so much farther because their awareness of what it means to live in this place and time developed (and continues to) during this movement. These are the people that we need to be talking to about the ways that President Obama shifts American consciousness, about how the proclamation that black lives matter creates a deeper expanse of us. Last night I wanted to challenge every adult in the audience, but had to leave so Ill do it for my readership here. I challenge each adult reading this to - within the next week - ask a young person's perspective on President Obama, on what it means to be part of an American public today, on new ways to declare that black lives matter, on black futurism or brown futurism or any other topic they lead you to. Ask. And stop talking. And listen.