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The Struggle Continues By Sherry Cannon

I’m mad, I’m hurt, and I’m disgusted at the reality that another young, gifted and black woman is gone too soon.  I’m mad that another mother and father had to bury their child.  That is unnatural, that’s not how it’s supposed to happen.  The tag for this death is “say her name.”  Her name is Sandra Bland … a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, granddaughter, certainly someone’s best friend.  Someone whose full potential was untapped because of her untimely death.

God of our weary tears, God of our silent tears.
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way.

I hear these words in my spirit, a poem written by James Weldon Johnson, now known as the Negro National Anthem.  It’s this same God that begins to calm my spirit, and whispers in my heart, “daughter I feel your pain and I know your hurt.”

This begins my dialogue with God.  I ask Him, why as a people are we maligned, marginalized and mistreated?  Why are our sons and daughters swelling prison cells by the hundreds of thousands?  Why are our young people labeled at an early age, considered unteachable and their low test scores used to forecast even more prisons?  Why are even our best and brightest not even considered that, but an asterisk indicating they still have some sort of deficiency, i.e. even our president is called illegitimate? 

Why must so many of our children become household names at the cost of their lives, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, and now Sandra Bland?

Lord when will it end?  Why are we fighting the same battles, which our mothers and fathers fought fifty years ago? Battles then that killed Medgar, Martin, and Malcolm.  How many more has to die? 

I hear Him say….. “I have shown thee, O man/woman what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”

We each have a choice.  We can continue to suffer in silence, or we can do as Fannie Mae Hammer did and declare enough is enough; that we are sick and tired of being sick and tired; that we will demand better for our children; that we will re-engage with our communities; that we will hold our elected officials accountable; that we will teach our children the value of a good education and demand it for them no matter what our economic status is; that we will no longer allow ourselves to marginalized by not voting, or attending school board meeting, city council meetings, town hall meetings; that we will be our brothers keeper.

I also hear Martin saying, it ends when good people of all races, creed, and religion speak up and speak out, that “Black lives matter”; when he said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The struggle continues………….