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Momentum
A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Essay

In Momentum. More on Medium.

Let’s Unpack This

From Cecil J. Williams to Trayvon Martin, someone is always thinking they have the authority to decide that we don’t belong

Black people defying racists in America makes my heart smile. One of my favorite defiant moments is memorialized in a picture of Cecil J. Williams. The picture, taken in 1956, features Williams drinking from a water fountain in South Carolina. He was on his way back from an assignment for Jet magazine—photographing the state’s segregated beaches—when he stopped at a closed filling station.

The “White Only” sign is clear. What’s also clear is that Williams isn’t White. This “problem” obviously meant nothing to Williams as his eyes pierced into the camera lens with what I’ve imagined is a smug sense…


Acclaimed novelist Jesmyn Ward surprised the nation with a beautifully sad essay in the September issue of Vanity Fair. She wrote that her husband died in midwinter from a respiratory illness before Covid-19 was officially named in the States. He was 33. Their entire family caught the virus. As Ward worked through her grief, she witnessed Covid-19 and the uprising.

I cried in wonder each time I saw protest around the world because I recognized the people. I recognized the way they zip their hoodies, the way they raised their fists, the way they walked, the way they shouted. I…

Momentum

A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

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