To say last week was mentally, spiritually, and emotionally draining, would be THE understatement of 2016. No, of the century; or perhaps, the past 400 years. I literally could not believe my eyes as I watched the heinous murders of two black men both on social media and television, at the hands of law enforcement, within a 12 hour time span. I went to bed angry, hurt, and confused, but nonetheless determined to somehow contribute to change.
So, I’ve been thinking about how I could personally approach this crisis which is, as I hope you know, not an African-American problem, but an American problem.
What can I do to contribute to this fight? The fight I’m referring to is, the (peaceful) strides those of us who are, in the words of Jesse Williams, interested in equal rights for black people are making to end police brutality towards black men.
I definitely do not have all the answers, and I probably never will. For now, I know that I can visit blacklivesmatter.com and stay up-to-date date on all activities, events and rallys, participate in “hands up, don’t shoot”protests, and simply vote in the 2016 presidential election for the obvious better candidate. #anyonebuttrump
I plan to do all of the above. But one additional action I will take is simple yet profound, and that is love. During this overwhelming time of grief, I have specifically been inspired and uplifted by black love. I believe that uplifting black men in love can potentially have a positive impact on them which will result in progress for the black lives matter movement.
As a #blackgirlwhoblogs, I follow other black girl bloggers on social media who inspire me every day. I am particularly (obsessed with, lol) Alexandra Elle. Alex, an entrepreneur who focuses on writing and self-care practices, has successfully built her social media brand as “Alex Elle” by writing about love, lifestyle, food, fashion, family, and so much more. She constructs the most eloquently written messages of daily encouragement, and her words are ALWAYS right on time.
But what I most admire about her, is the unconditional love she has for her man; her black man.
The following recent clips were taken from blog posts which honored the 1 month anniversary of The Spearman’s marriage:
As a hopeless romantic, I’ve been meaning to shout Alex and Ryan out for some time now, just because the love they share is so beautiful. But I’m so glad I waited until now, because their unapologetic open love for one another is timely, appropriate, and could be a possible remedy for what is and has been happening in our communities. No, love shared between two people cannot, alone, end police brutality. However, love is power.
Below is one of Alex’s Instagram posts, which reflects on Ryan’s post dedicated to #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile
An excerpt from his blog post is below:
In these posts I feel their passion for both each other and for the movement, and I appreciate them for it.
I am not suggesting that black men can’t survive without the love from a black woman.
Actually, that is exactly what I am suggesting. But I believe I speak on behalf of black women worldwide when I say we need you too, black men. We undeniably need each other.
Although I wasn’t even a thought in God’s mind back in the 60’s during the treacherous Civil Rights Movement, I know for a fact that there would not have been Martin without Coretta, no Ralph without Juanita, no Malcolm without Betty, and no Nelson without Winnie. The wives of these iconic African-American leaders stood at the forefront of the movement with their husbands, stood beside them when everyone else stood against them, and loved them when the world simply did not.
Black love matters. It can move mountains. It can lead movements. It can break barriers. It can overcome ANYTHING.
Black kings, I am in love with you. From your beautifully bronzed skin, high cheek bones and gravity-defying hair, to your inevitable and unwavering strength in the ugly face of adversity. I believe God purposely spent a little extra time on you, which is why sometimes others may tend to be intimidated. He has plans for you to shake up this world.
“Don’t ever dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes.”
I stand in solidarity with you now, and always. I vow to support you, pray for you, and to always fight for you.