How to Cultivate Courage in A Revolution
I could not bear to watch the entire video and I doubt I ever will, but I knew at that moment I could not sit quiet and swallow my pain as another Black life risked dying in vain. On May 28th, I decided to visit the site where George died and was able to attend a vigil where Rev. Al Sharpton and Eric Garner’s mom provided a powerful speech of hope and determination. They shared a commitment to get justice for George and demand change in the police and justice system. Seeing Eric Garner’s mom speak with such vigor showed me that I had a role to play as well in ending this injustice and that I needed to cultivate courage despite the pain.
From there days started to progress between looting, riots, alarms going off, screaming, smells of smoke in the air, and helicopters hovering over my apartment at 3 AM. I couldn’t sleep straight for days, but what the media didn’t show often was the overwhelming massive peaceful protests that were going on and the rainbow coalition of different races, creeds, ages, and more showing up in the fight against racial injustice. In the midst of dealing with my own fluctuation and realization of emotions, I began to do more research to learn more about ways to help. I had the opportunity to volunteer at local food distributions, join in on webinars to discuss ideas for local policy change with individuals committed to justice as well as donate funds to Black-owned businesses that were impacted by the looting and COVID 19.
You may have heard the phrase fighting a pandemic within a pandemic and we must not forget that COVID 19 has and continues to disproportionately impact Black lives, communities, and businesses. The other pandemic being systemic racism has also existed, but the difference is that there’s no quick pill you can take to make it go away. Instead, you have to face it head-on with the long term determination, action, and commitment to truly change the systems that have been set up to block Black communities from equitable access to opportunity and success.
The time is now to demand change, take action, and hold each other accountable in bringing that to life. It will not always be swift, and it will at times be frustrating, but continue being determined, hopeful, and pushing for change. Cultivate courage in all you do even if it makes you and others uncomfortable because it is the only way true change happens.
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Flora Ekpe-Idang, Founder/CEO Corage Dolls