Black Lives Matter: Article by Zunaira Waheed

Black Lives Matter: Article by Zunaira Waheed

The silence echoing in the room is loud, but the thoughts running through my mind are louder. Was I really going to do this? Did I really want to do this?

An unfamiliar feeling coursed through my veins. Fear. I hadn’t feared anything in my life or even after that. I hadn’t been scared a single time on the underground railroad, I hadn’t been scared a single time when I risked my freedom to go free others. I never let fear take over my mind, Fear doesn’t help anyone, just kills them inside, slowly.

Instead of fearing death, I had welcomed it with open arms. I had lived a tough life, but I had died happy. Happy that I had helped change my people’s lives. Happy that no child would have to be born into slavery.

I don’t notice my hands shaking until I look down at the bottle in my hand. If I drink this, I’ll either see something that I can be proud of, Something that I and hundreds of people have worked for, something we dreamt and hoped would one day be a reality, Or I’ll see something heart breaking, I might see all the work we put into achieving our dream wasted.

 

black lives matter

 

The thought has occurred to me that things could be worse, but I’ve stayed positive. Hoping that people had learnt to accept us and treat us as equals despite the colour of our skin.

Taking a deep breathe I did what I had done so many times before, I reminded myself that I had to keep going no matter what. I had to keep going for my people and their right to freedom. And took a sip of the drink that would allow me to see how African Americans lived in 2020.

The first thing I see makes my heart hurt. It feels like I’m experiencing death again except this time I don’t want to feel this way. As I hear him “Please, Please, I’m about to die.” He’s begging for his life, but the cop doesn’t listen, he doesn’t get off him. Seeing him beg for life just like many of our people have done makes me want to do something, anything, but it’s hopeless. I know I can’t do anything. The drink just allows me to look at what’s going on in the world, I can’t interfere.

Tears run down my cheeks rapidly as he releases his last breath, my tears of sadness turn to anger and I feel the familiar passion in my body. The passion to make a change for my people, passion fueled by the anger I had towards people who judged us because of the colour of our skin. The passion to see my people free.

Everywhere I look, African Americans are being treated with injustice. Kids are scared of being judged by their classmates because of the color of their skin, Parents are afraid for their innocent kids, afraid that one day they might go out and not return home just like George Floyd and many before him never did.

This wasn’t what we had worked for. We hadn’t fought battles after battles to be at the same place we were a century ago. I hadn’t gone back south and led more people to freedom again and again just for us to be standing at the same place we had stood years ago.

Had we not proved ourselves? Had Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Barack and Michelle Obama, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others not proven that our skin color didn’t matter?

Had I, Harriet Tubman not proved to them that the colour of my skin didn’t stop me? Had I not proven that our skin colour couldn’t stop us from fighting for our freedom? Had I not made it clear that we deserved freedom?

When were they going to realize, the colour of our skin was neither a weapon nor a weakness.

 

 

 

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