To George Floyd And The 90 Minutes In between And After

The Lesson Of The Falling Leaves

the leaves believe
such letting go is love
such love is faith
such faith is grace
such grace is god
i agree with the leaves

Lucille Clifton

Yesterday I cried when the news was released. For 90 minutes my stomach dropped, I was struck with paralysis. When they read Guilty, I cried at the pent-up sadness and anger. I cried out of frustration, exhaustion, trauma, consumption and the cyclical commodification of Black death and pain. I cried because “justice” and “accountability” are difficult things to manage. I don’t have an answer. But I do know that as news of the verdict made waves around the world, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was killed in Columbus, Ohio by a white police officer after calling them for help. In this week’s newsletter essay, I quoted Mariame Kaba and I think I will again (this interview is an important listen), to close this out:

“It’s work to be hopeful. It’s not like a fuzzy feeling. Like, you have to actually put in energy, time, and you have to be clear-eyed, and you have to hold fast to having a vision. It’s a hard thing to maintain. But it matters to have it, to believe that it’s possible, to change the world. You know, that we don’t live in a predetermined, predestined world where like nothing we do has an impact. No, no, that’s not true! Change is, in fact, constant, right? Octavia Butler teaches us. We’re constantly changing. We’re constantly transforming. It doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily good or bad. It just is. That’s always the case. And so, because that’s true, we have an opportunity at every moment to push in a direction that we think is actually a direction towards more justice.”

Take good care,

L

(Photograph of George Floyd and his daughter, Gianna. Final photo of River and Oak at a Black Lives Matter protest last June)

8 thoughts on “To George Floyd And The 90 Minutes In between And After

  • Reply emily April 21, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    whoops typo GUILTY THANK GOD

    • Reply latonya April 21, 2021 at 12:51 pm

      oof just fixed! thanks Emily

      • Reply liz April 21, 2021 at 6:34 pm

        💜 sending you love from mpls.

        • Reply latonya April 21, 2021 at 8:28 pm

          thanks Liz. Sending love back to you and your city

  • Reply Nelle April 21, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    You are simply lovely, and I admire you for putting yourself “out there”. I see you. I hear you. I am witnessing.
    (FWIW, I’m an older-ish white woman.) I am hopeful that decency and justice for all will ultimately prevail in our country.

    • Reply latonya April 21, 2021 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Nelle.

      Take care 🤎

  • Reply Amanda H April 22, 2021 at 9:48 am

    LaTonya, thank you for your vulnerability. I called all my reps to support the BREATHE act. This is an important moment of truth and reconciliation for our country. Sending love your way xx

  • Reply Jenny April 22, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    I was 4400 miles from home when I saw on the BBC that the verdict was imminent. I also stopped moving. When the guilty was read I also sobbed, for a long while. I couldn’t find words to name the feelings that overwhelmed me; thank you for this post. xo

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