About Black on Black Compassion (BBC)
Together, the killings of Emmett Till and Tamir Rice underscore the predicament that faces people of African descent. Namely, the constant battle against negative stereotypes and mythologies. In the United States and abroad. The two tragedies symbolize the social context that inspired Black on Black Compassion (BBC).
59 Years, Progress and But In Key Ways, Stuck
The repulsive details of their deaths should have jettison longstanding animus against blacks and related notions that justify it. Yet, what should and could have been inflection points in race relationshs found our nation gradually revolving into indifference and heightened hostilities. In the case of Till, eight years later the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham killed four little girls. As with Rice, the death of innocence has given way to a rise in open white nationalism across America. The denial of basic human dignity rationalized mutilation against little Emmett. For Till, the shooting was ostensibly “justifiable”. After all, “Surely, the public is well aware that the black community is proned to gun violence. Why would any reasonable person conclude that the gun in the boy’s hand was not real?”
Unpacked, the rationalizations are one in the same. A corporate indictment of black life. These rationalizations are the same. More recently, the viewing of African Americans through the black on black crime prism imposing a a heavy burden on a community that is overwhelmingly comprised of ordinary people, carrying out their daily lives. The burden of a perpetual cloud, hovering over people of color creates a daily reality of everthing from those car door clicking sounds, familiar to the black school commuter and sharply-clad black executive, alike. To reprisal, from John Q. Public, coporate leaders, and political elites, that follows the basic most affirmation that black lives matter.
Ultimately, We Must Own the Narrative
The sad reality is this. Negative framing of African Americans work because in all to many corridor of society, this is as profitable today as it was during slavery. Scary images of what is feeds the unquenched appetite of 1865, or for that matter 1965. However, at the center of true black empowerment is the power to define one’s reality. Christians often say it like this, “I am who God says I am“.
However, we know who our people have been and continue to be, as a race and as a culture. We’ve breathed compassion during times that tried to choke the life our of people of African descent. And with this in our rich tradition, our gift to ourselves and the generations to come is to own the narrative of what is means to be “black'”. It’s our images, Our messages. Our historical account. And our values to affirm. These form the basis for Black on Black Compassion. A platform for content, conversation, and commitments that cast a light so bright that even the weary or jaundiced eye cannot deny.
Yes, we invite people of goodwill across the spectrum of race, culture, and geography. But we, African Americans, must own it.
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