“Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter, Black Lives Matter.”
“As a proud follower and endorser of the Black Lives Matter Movement, I am very familiar with Alicia Garza. Usually people assume that I back the Black Lives Matter Movement because I’m, well, Black. While this is obviously true, I support the movement because of the woman behind it. She is a black queer female, the lowest of the lows when it comes to any sort of privilege. And yet, she speaks out. Garza is the true embodiment of the quote “Black women will fix it.” To me, she represents modern activism. Activism is no longer about sitting in at diners and stopping traffic. Today it is about using any platform you have to make a statement.
When I lived in a shelter, I had a really hard time communicating my feelings. In a room full of people, I had not a single soul to confide in. In this world where everyone had their own problems, no one asked me how I felt about being homeless. My voice went unheard above the noise of shelter life and my emotions and I faded into oblivion. That was until I turned on my computer. My mom had scraped together money to buy me a computer for my birthday. Black and small, it came equipped with a trusty companion: a web camera. Every night I turned on the camera and spoke to it as I lay on my scratchy cot. We talked about how broken I was feeling, how helpless I felt watching my parents struggle and how jealous I was of people who ate home-cooked meals. He watched me cry. He watched me laugh. Never judging, he listened attentively, recording all I said. My web camera became my one and only friend. Through the eyes of the web camera, I realized that I had been talking to myself all along. I had been watching me cry, it was me who I talked to about my problems. Through his eyes, I had found myself, my voice, and my will to express my feelings. I decided that if I had nothing in this life, no real home, no clothes, at least I would own my voice.
Long story short, I understand Garza’s use of technology as a mode for social change on a more personal level. Both she and I, through our actions, have pledged to use our voices for the advancement of society. What I admire most about her is the fact that she didn't intend to create a globally known movement. Garza was just tired of the injustice and brutality she had seen taken out on our brothers and sisters. She did not allow the criticism that claimed she is “anti-White” to deter her, and instead continues to get others to join the cause. Her way of bringing people from different races together never ceases to amaze me.
All in all, AHS’ heritage curriculum gave me a chance to tap into my thoughts and passions that I seldom put onto paper. Also, it gave me a chance to read the reflections of my peers and to appreciate about how far we all have come and how far we will continue to go with AHS’ support.”
#heritage #blm #blacklivesmatter