As I was taking some down time from editing my memoir, I logged into Twitter to see that Trayvon Martin was trending. It made me anxious and I immediately clicked on his name. Today is the anniversary of his death. As a Black, single mother of four boys, the anniversary of his death has me feeling moody and reflective. The significance of his death inspired this post.
Oddly enough, it was Twitter where I first heard his name. Curious, I did an internet search which eventually led me to the 911 call. I typically don't cry for the death of strangers, but I cried for this boy as if I was crying for my own son. I prayed too. I am still angry about his death. Just try to imagine being in his shoes: a strange man pursues you in the dark. Being only a short distance from your house, yet alone. Fighting. Seeing a gun. Dropping to the ground. Taking your last breaths in innocence. Being no more.
I want you to take a few moments to imagine this, since these were the final moments of a child. Because as ornery and unlikable as teenagers can be, as "bad-ass" as they think they are, we as adults know that at the end of the day, teenagers are still children who need to be protected.
I think about Trayvon's death often, considering the fact that I never knew him. Sometimes, I wonder what his mother is thinking, what she is doing. I even wonder about the things that she shares with God regarding he death of her son that she has shared with no one else. I wonder how much of the blame she places on herself.
There is no point in saying, "America, we have got to do better." We are beyond doing better now. We did, "better" after the civil war. We did "better" after Civil Rights. Now, it's just time to get the shit done.
But, I know at the end of the day, this entire post is pointless. Not because I have nothing noteworthy to say, but because the system of oppression that this country is built on allows for nothing more than "better," for the vast majority of Black people in America.
So instead, I'll just try to appreciate that on the anniversary of his death, so many people refuse to forget his name.