By Halina Bryan
It happened four thousand miles away, some people and newspapers say.
However the oppression, brutalisation and trauma transcend time and space, and are relentlessly present in the lives of black people, here in the UK.
The time we and our ancestors have given, waiting for our humanity to be acknowledged and represented in social equality and change.
Yet, this continues to be a promise undelivered, denied, with conscious efforts made to keep black people and justice estranged.
So many are content to turn their eyes and hearts away from, or ‘justify’ our suffering and pain.
Systemic racism often moves in the shadows, at other times in plain sight of day.
It always inflicts indescribable pain and trauma along its way.
Its insidious roots and branches are deep and far reaching.
But for many our testimonies, calls and cries for action and change, are rejected and claimed to be unwarranted preaching.
Familiar words spoken, which ‘other’, change the focus, and assign to us the personal blame.
The searing silence and efforts of some to protect their fragility, privilege, and the systems that support it, that for them, things can remain the same.
George’s anguished face on the pavement, an image that cannot be shaken.
I stand weary, just how many more lives must be taken?
The perpetrators saw no value in his black life, enabling his humanity to be mercilessly forsaken.
We bear witness, hearts broken, our souls howl in pain.
The pain is so deep, raw and visceral, that it stirs our ancestors in their sacred resting plane.
We weep and ask ‘will things always be the same’?
How much longer will the ruling majority continue to stamp its foot on our necks, and sanction us being murdered and maimed?
While observing these historical patterns, our collective humanity bows its head in shame.
It is hard not to fall into a dark pit of hopelessness and despair.
But my faith, my people and our allies lift my heart and spirit, as we speak up, show up and stand in mutual solidarity, while all committing to do our share.
I know for us equality, justice, freedom and peace will never be served up on a platter.
However our birth right inherently and unequivocally decrees that BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!
THIS MUST END
In honour of our ancestors and those most recently fallen – Rest in Power and Peace George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Ahbery & Belly Mujinga.
Halina Bryan , Second Year Clinical Psychology Trainee, University of Manchester (UK)
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