57 years have passed since the historical civil rights gathering at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. In that moment, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. echoed across crowds of passionate organizers from across America. The dream was equality and justice for all Americans, today we march on for the same cause.
“Systemized oppression is not an accident.
America was built on a system that is still doing its job”
On August 28th, 2020 organizer and leader, Ayalah Eastmond, spoke with the rage of one thousand ancestors. As one of the many speakers at the march she set the foundation for a conversation long overdue.
Her words cause us to reminisce on the histories untold, the ancestors and traditions unknown. Her words inspire a deep feeling of frustration and urge. Our pain has been actualized in so many ways, and on this day in the year 2020 we, marched in demand of justice unimagined.
Before the young leader parted from the stage, she expressed in few words a very outstanding truth.
“Black women are still the backbone of this movement”
Congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley, brought a force to the stage that directs our focus to our roots and the power that must be harnessed to imagine systems that can provide us the type of justice we are looking to receive.
“Today I am thinking of the ancestors, not just the ones recorded in our textbooks, but the ones omitted from those pages. The justice seekers, the freedom writers, the organizers, the community builders…”
As we organize towards a victory long sought after in Black America, how can we prepare ourselves with the wisdom and guidance of those who have fought this battle before us? It is one thing to call upon the names of those who we know to be leaders, it is a wholly transforming experience to tap into the collective conscious of our people and call upon those ancestors who are ready and willing to carry us in this work.
When community activist, Frank Nitty, came to the mic he made it very clear that our cries for justice are always on someone else’s time and terms. With a powerful assertion he shouts to the crowd,
“I’m tired. Are yall tired? Cause I’m tired. My grandsons ain’t gone be marching for the same stuff my granddaddy marched for. This a revolution…We not gone stop till we get change”
Black people are a particular type of tired when it comes to their collective struggle with white America.
This is the breaking point.
We came to DEMAND change
We are no longer on the question of why Black Americans are tired. The enslavement of African people, the generational economic and social displacement of African Americans, the prison industrial complex, Jim crow and the Black codes- the list of atrocities goes on. The conversation is now being pushed forward with a different sense of urgency. Black leaders and organizers are ready to apply the generations of efforts put forward by the leaders before them. It is time to tap in!
Now that we have reached our breaking point Black America, what are we willing to do for the kind of change that we are demanding?
Now that we have organized a movement that emphasizes a need to move in a different direction, how are we organizing ourselves to embark on this new path?
Change will not come easy. It will not come because we march and shout. It will not come on our terms or simply because we think we deserve it.
Are we truly ready to hold this nation accountable for the ways that it has tried to impede the Black nation and the world?
“We organize, cause they don’t expect that.
We gone come together, cause they do not expect that.
We gone demand change, cause they don’t expect that”
We are beginning to imagine new possibilities for ourselves. Where we can go, what we can create…what needs to be done so that we can get there with efficiency.
We are tired of explaining our existence to the world. The world knows that Black Lives Matter. Now that we have realized the full force of this statement, we are ready to embody the power that we believe it holds, that which is really in us.
Black America is ready to transform our helpless fatigue into inspired action.
We have demands. We have plans. We have power.
We have the people, charged up and ready to go!
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986