Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I finished reading When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele. I often try to read something by King or a related topic on MLK Day, not in a performative way (though blogging about it doesn’t help), but to help center my thoughts.
This year, when things seem calm and quiet (forgotten), when the fury of 2020 George Floyd protests is an aberration, it seemed fitting to read a modern voice.
Too often MLK Day is quotes from 60 years ago, voices so far removed from our current reality that you don’t see the continued struggle.
This year, it seemed important to read about the current struggle. I didn’t intentionally pick it, but reading from one of my contemporaries, someone near to my own age (actually younger), makes it a lot harder to shake with rage at Bloody Sunday or the firehoses or the dogs and think I’d have done something.
Reading these stories, that happened in my lifetime and still happen, make me feel, make me realize, that I am complicit.
This book is really a justification of Black Lives Matter, the term and the idea, as well as the movement. It’s a recitation of all the harms and injustices that from a “hatred that tells a person daily that their life and the life of those they love ain’t worth shit, a truth made ever more real when the people who harm you are never held accountable.” (187)Continue reading Black Lives Matter on MLK Day