Published August 27, 2014
Nyshayla Williams – Contributor
We have all heard about the Michael Brown occurrence in Ferguson, Mo. as well as all of the protests, peaceful and not so peaceful riots, and
marches that have come to follow.
Being a 20 year-old young
woman without a child to call my own, I know that I cannot even begin to feel the pain that Lesley
McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother, is feeling. To be completely blunt, I hope to
never know that feeling. I have watched countless interviews on the unjustified occurrence and am truly ashamed to be a black American, living here in
America. “Land of the free” is what they say but Michael Brown was far from a “free” American on August 9, 2014.
Social media, just as it did with Trayon Martin’s death, has played an interesting aspect in this movement. Our fellow HBCU, Howard University, posted a powerful photo, of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” demonstration which then trickled to our illustrious university, where we then, had a protest in support of Michael Brown and all of the people in Ferguson.
Now, as I love the idea and actions of our HBCU’s, I want us to go beyond social media in support of our community. So often, we feel like we are raising awareness by
posting a photo and call ourselves
activists – mad activists, but that is it. I truly believe that when you are “mad,” you create a plan to make a change, right?
For instance, when we are upset about a grade that our teacher gives us on a test, we do any and everything to not only figure out the problem but also identify a solution to the
We should take this on, immediately! We should have come up with solutions for our brothers, Emmett Till,
Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell,
Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Eric Garner before Michael Brown. Now, if you are not familiar with these men, all died, as unarmed black men from the police, a white man, or the “neighborhood watch coordinator,” each
resulting in no justice being served. Does this not upset you? If it does not upset you, that is a problem. If it does, what are you doing to end this madness?
Yes, we are entitled to our feelings but just as someone may have once told you, “put yourself in their shoes.”
Imagine how Till’s parents are feeling, having one less child and not being able to see the potential of their son. Take
Diallo’s family, who are not originally from America and wishing he had never gone to “the land of the free” or Bell’s fiancée, who never got the chance to say “I do,” or Grant’s daughter, who will never be able to play with her daddy again or Martin’s parents, who will
never get to see their son pursue his
interest in aviation. Imagine how Davis’ parents who never got to see him graduate from high school. Garner’s children will never have a man who will have the same bond with that they shared with their father. Lastly, Brown’s mother who did
everything in her power not only to keep Michael in school but also to make sure he
graduated as well. These
important people in our
brother’s lives’, will never have their loved ones back and will never see the potential they had in this world.
I encourage any and
everyone who is reading this article, to sit back and
imagine if this were to happen to you. So often, we tend to only worry about issues that are
directly affecting us without the
mindset that this could very well be you. Decide today to make that change. Look up some
political forums in your area and attend those meetings. That is when your voice will be heard. We have to end police
brutality! It is okay to march, shout, cry, post to social media, and pray that things will get
better but it takes so much more than that to make a change in this world. Think outside of the box and take action.
Never fear what your peers may think of you or what you could
potentially lose. When you are a mother of a Black man who is unarmed and has all of the potential in the world, then you will willing to sacrifice your life to make sure justice is served.
To my young black men on campus: be great! If no one else in this world has told you, let me be the one to tell you that you have so much potential. It is a shame that you are stereotyped as a threat to society because of the melanin in your skin.
Continue being the wonderful man that you are, take action and make a change.
Social media is not and will not change the policies in your city or end police brutality but you, sitting in that chair in the meeting, making your voice heard, will do wonders in this land we call “free” and making sure justice is served.