A Glimmer of Hope in a Time of Despair

This past Saturday, Jordan Edwards’ body was laid to rest. With his untimely death on our minds, we are reminded that it is natural to feel fear, outrage, and sadness during a time of loss.

We, as Black people, have a long history of dealing with trauma; but if there is one thing we know how to do, it is to bounce back. We channel our anger and frustration into actionable steps for optimistic change. We never back down and we find light even when all we see is darkness.

Our resiliency allows us to incite social change even in the most trying times. Since Ferguson and the death of Mike Brown, we’ve seen greater awareness about the pressing issues that plague so many of our communities. We’re more informed and we’re collectively unified. And now, we must continue to combat them.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement exemplifies how our collective resiliency transforms into calculated and impactful action. Through BLM, we’ve marched, protested, lobbied state and federal legislative bodies, been the headlines of international news, and galvanized support across racial and ethnic lines.

We’ve collectively envisioned changed and worked to promote better public policies and more impactful organizations. We’ve collectively shouted our truths – and we will continue to shout and demand change.

Our shouts are not in vain, as our voices are being heard. Social media has leveled the playing field, allowing us to not only connect with one another but to broadcast to the masses the truth as witnessed right before our eyes.

Black Twitter has birthed both humor and humility – serving as a refuge for collective laughter and a source for the news and perspectives we so desperately need to hear. We’ve manifested a space for unfiltered Black perspectives on the world – we’ve hosted conversations that rarely exist in mainstream media but penetrate it by the day.

Here at PushBlack, we are encouraged by all the efforts to bring justice for Jordan Edwards and his family. As this case unfolds, it is imperative that we stay engaged, informed and continue to demand reform. While Roy Oliver’s arrest is the first step towards justice, his murder conviction will signal a necessary shift towards holding our law enforcement accountable for their actions.

We must continue using all the resources at our disposal to fight the good fight.

We know that dealing with these heavy issues on a regular basis is draining, so it is most important that we prioritize our self-care. Black mental health matters. No one is expected to be strong all the time and that may mean at some point we just need to disconnect and decompress.

Be as involved as you can, but remember we do not all have to be activists. In the words of Malcolm X, do your “best work.” In whatever it is that you do, do your best for the betterment of Black people.

Attending town halls and sending letters to Congress may be the actions for some, while reading and sharing news articles or reflecting with friends and family may be the route for others. Every little bit counts.

We remain optimistic about the work of our Black communities in pushing forward for justice and change, and we hope you will too. We believe in cultivating a supportive network of allies who understand that unity of the people can bring down any system.