Archive for Police Brutality

#MLKDay 2017

Posted in Black Lives Matter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

MLK Day is not a day off. I was raised to know that today is a day of service. I’m blessed that the work I’m paid to do doubles as community service.

 My #MLKDay 2017 to do and got-it-done list:

 1)  Sent my kid to a youth leadership conference. 

2) Worked on a speech I’ve been hired to write for the Women’s March on Washington. #Speechwriter

 3) Wrote & edited campaign materials for Amnesty International campaigns against Police Brutality & The Syrian Refugees Crisis 

4) Soul food dinner with family.

 Dr. King would be proud. :+) Productive. Busy. Satisfying. Today was a good day.

Newark NJ Declares #SayHerName to Fight Violence Against Black Women

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 7, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

I had a wonderful time attending the closing night panel and festivities for #SayHerNameNewark. A young women’s empowerment event, in Newark NJ, dedicated to giving voice to the issues, causes, and names of black women killed by violence – police brutality, domestic – sexual and physical violence. Adults and youth spoke along with assorted art performances and displays to represent the struggle. Shout to Kim J Ford & Leah Jackson for inviting me to this amazing event. Check the pictures below!

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Posing with my fellow panelist, a powerful group of women all active in their community

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Young black girls packed the building. Based on what I’ve heard from these kids, the future looks very promising.

 

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Kim Ford did an excellent job hosting and moderating.

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Co-host Leah Jackson was also amazing. Especially when she shared her empowerment poem with the audience.

 

 

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Powerful pieces of art colored the room.

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I woke up like this… One Year Later. Mike Brown. [By Raqiyah Mays]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

Mike Brown Pic

I remember exactly where I was a year ago today. August 9. 2014. Woke up preparing to set up my son’s 10th birthday party. But I was late. I couldn’t move from in front of the TV screen. I was stuck in shock, glued in anger, pulled with pain to the image of Mike Brown’s bloody body lying dead on the ground in the middle of the street, broad daylight, in Ferguson, MO. I watched for a few minutes. National TV. MSNBC. Completely traumatized. His mother and entire neighborhood watched for 4.5 hours. She was an obvious emotional wreck. I couldn’t speak. All I felt was this mangled knot in my stomach. It creeped with a simmering knock between the ribs. Bubbled and boiled into my throat. Steamed with a burning rage of silence. It’s something I’m prone to doing when initially pissed. I don’t speak. I’m quiet. Sorta feeling. Mostly numb. Contemplating. Barely breathing.

I managed to force myself to leave the house, eventually answer texts wondering where I was, and get to my child’s party, late, to set up.  I remember staring at a backyard full of lil black boys in Brooklyn wondering how I could possibly save my son or any of them from death by cop. From being deemed a criminal and shot dead because of the color of their skin. I sat surrounded by mothers, feeling powerless and pissed, knowing that even if I raise my child to do the right thing it might not be enough. I could still get that nightmare call that he’s been killed. Made to look like a criminal. Made to watch an edited video tape. Made into a hashtag. I saw the dead image in my head of #MikeBrown. His mother. Leslie McSpadden. Face and hair a mess. Screaming and crying. Someone holding her up. Knowing I would be the same. Do the same. And never from that day forth, like her, and so many others across the country – even a year later on August 9 – be the same.

Leslie McSpadden pic

So here we are, 365 days later, still mad. Still traumatized. Still fighting. But I still won’t go back. I can’t. Something is different this time. Something calls me to push. Something moves me forward. An addictive movement. A tag on the heart for life crisscrossing streets from coast to coast like a neverending social media hashtag. #blacklivesmatter Because so many of color in this country are stressed about trying to live another day without some cop trying to legally take our life and walk free like it doesn’t matter.

I don’t  know how to end it. I don’t know when it will end. All I do know is that I will do whatever I can, daily, from that day, to this day, to my last day, to make sure that this injustice ends – for myself, my child, my people, my legacy. Till we win. Till black lives really do matter.