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It’s been three long and painful weeks since Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. In that time, we’ve seen people across America and the world take to the streets in protest of the painfully long list of Black lives snuffed out by police brutality.

Black women are magic, but not because of something mystical or mysterious. Our power was born and is reborn in the depths of tragedy, the storms of indignity, the strength of our faith and community. Our magic is in direct proportion to the pain we’ve overcome.

There’s a  misconception of this current moment, a misplaced assumption that Black people have been waiting for white people to emotionally break open in front us. No, we’ve been asking you to be our co-conspirators in dismantling systemic and institutionalised racism. We’ve been asking you to sit in the discomfort that comes with this work.

Until you lose a loved one, it is difficult to describe the process of grieving. There is no set amount of time or an established ritual.  Some people seem like they don’t grieve at all but perhaps they suffer internally, while others navigate through all the emotions associated with loss, like depression or anxiety and you can see their pain for months and sometimes years. 

The alarm goes off, and the first thing I grab is my phone, a habit that I’ve tried to break so many times. These last few weeks, I often sift through Twitter and Instagram, looking for new developments about COVID-19 -- there is always something in the back of my mind that knows social media isn’t a safe place, as it’s often the place where I gain information about yet another Black person whose life was taken due to police brutality.

I don’t want to talk about how horrible the #GeorgeFloyd death is, because it goes without saying how unjust it is. Non-Blacks, you want to know how to be our allies? Let’s talk about tMake no mistake. This rebellion that’s happening, is not just about police brutality. It’s a culmination of the daily injustices and small indignities we endure, that white people turn a blind eye to on a daily basis that helped get things to this level of rage. This isn’t about ONE murder. This is about a lifetime of violence and being ignored in all facets of our…

(PHOTO BY: Nicola Yardy) More and more it feels like to be Black is to be tired. To be living in a heightened sense of fight or flight. It is wholly unfair.  White supremacy is working overtime to break us down. George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis a few hours before Regis Korchinski-Paquet fell to her death in Toronto after police entered her apartment.

“Breathe out, breathe in American oxygen Every breath I breathe Chasin' this American Dream”

I did not expect to have this conversation in the middle of a pandemic. Somehow, I thought that COVID-19’s suspension of our ordinary lives would provide a reprieve. But then, Ahmaud Arbery was killed. The public outcry in response to the video of his killing became the catalyst for a long-overdue conversation with Sébastien, my 12-year-old son.

Picture this. Over the course of several weeks, social media feeds are saturated with images and news of the murders and victimization of Black people. You bristle at the word of them being gunned down in their homes (Breonna Taylor). You watch videos of them being shot in the streets while running, literally, for their lives (Ahmaud Arbery). Closer to home, you read the trial of two off duty police officers who maimed a Black teenager (Dafonte Miller), with a lead pipe will begin, only to be tried in relative silence (the verdict now suspended due to Covid-19 closures).

 

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