These essays are not necessarily despairing, although they would have every right to be; rather, they are, in some ways, expressions of hope as much as they are affirmations of how the struggle of Black humanity has so deeply enriched and empowered much that is good and worthy, profoundly moral and artistically innovative about American life.
I am also hoping the long hot summer of 2020 will foster a new understanding of the fact that crime is systemic, it is not simply individual, and that deep systemic solutions are required to handle all social problems.
Real democracy, or “rule by the people” is not just about voting to elect public officials, campaigning for parties and candidates, and engaging in debates about the issues of the day. It is also about ordinary people—people like the early twentieth-century suffragists, the striking auto workers of the 1930s, the Freedom Riders of the Jim Crow South, and the Black Lives Matter activists of 2020—exercising their political power to fight for change.
Thanks to brand-new ancestors, St. Louis time has been reset and, for the moment, along this part of the river, restored.
To see and be otherwise will mean that we must look differently and act differently, make connections when many social forces encourage us to interpret in silos. How often have you thought about how breath—literally and metaphorically—links many issues of social inequality?
As the morbidity and mortality mounts, this country can demonstrate that it understands how structural racism has contributed to the disproportionate burden of disease borne by the Black and Indigenous People of Color community at large.
The education of underprivileged children in under-resourced schools suffered greatly before COVID-19. For those students, particularly for those who have not had any academic learning since March, going back to school in the fall will be a monumental challenge.
The recent protests and renewed attention to racial justice have cast an important spotlight on these issues of racial equity. But it is past time for organizations to take these issues more seriously.