Justice and Truth

“We can not seek justice and then deny truth.”

This thought or line just came to me as I reflect on how far we have come as African Americans in this country.

Yesterday I watched “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth”, a film that chronicles her magnificent life and inside of the film the images of African Americans being beat by white police officers, dogs sicked on us, and water hoses pushing our bodies against brick walls.

Our presence and ability to thrive speaks to the spirit of human triumph.

These atrocities happened in my lifetime, and yet, we as African Americans have never been offered any form of serious reparation from that period and well before it.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. T. D. Davis says:

    What truth do you feel is being denied?

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    1. brianlragsdale says:

      Thank you, T. D. Davis for the question.

      In this example, the truth of how violence toward African Americans were sanctioned by state and sometimes federal entities. These acts of cruelty and indifference were documented in film, yet those who caused us/them harm remain unnamed. Whites who inflict violence onto Blacks are rendered silent in our historical narratives. Those who engaged in these inhumane acts remain undocumented, this is my truth. It saddens me that all we are left with are the faces of the victims of this torture, black people.

      Having to watch/see/know/feel these painful images contribute to the emotional and systemic pain many of us still shoulder in our Black families. I believe that trauma, particularly extreme forms of trauma effect whole generations. These images document the trauma that African Americans had to face as we struggled for our freedom.

      For far too long, I believe African Americans have been viewed as being able to withstand large amounts of emotional and psychological pain. This ability to withstand pain, for example, is highlighted in the film 12 years a slave for example. To endure as a group of people such large. sometimes coordinated acts of systemic violence in the most unspeakable ways, leads to a form of cultural numbness about this level of pain.

      Hope this answer provides more context around my thinking. Please continue to read my work, and thanks for reading my blog. Peace and blessings, Brian

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