Jordan Davis: Thoughts From A Black Teenager

Last year after the Trayvon Martin verdict, I reposted the writing of Donald Watkins, a successful African American businessman by any measure and parent who loves his children. He found himself expressing age-old advice to his sons who were supposedly living in “post-racial America,” led by the nation’s first openly known African American president.

And now, virtually a year later, after the Jordan Davis trial, more black parents and their sons are expressing the same fears that haunted the steps of their forefathers. Like Donald Watkin’s piece, I felt compelled to share the blog post of another young black male who questions how to navigate in his own country. What follows are the thoughts of Miles Ezeilo:

I get scared every time I turn on the news now. My thoughts on the verdict of Jordan Davis, the 17-year-old young African American man who was shot to death by Michael Dunn are simple: as a black boy in this day and age, my trust and sense of safety is dwindling as I write this. Continue reading →

Artur Davis Feels “The Love”

Why He Lost the Race for Governor

Former Congressman Artur Davis lost his bid to become Alabama’s first Black governor when the state’s former agriculture commissioner Ron Sparks beat him handily in last night’s Democratic primary election.

He lost because he was Black. But his loss didn’t come because White Alabamians couldn’t bring themselves to vote for an African American. He lost because Black voters lost their love for Artur. Or rather, they expressed their “love” by sending him home. Continue reading →

Dreams Do Come True

I sat with three older ladies at the Harambe Room in Downtown Birmingham tonight when Barack Obama formally accepted the Democratic Party’s 2008 nominee for the Presidency of the United States of America.

Mary Jo, Barbara and Brenda looked to be in their sixties, and had no doubt personally experienced the racial injustices that Birmingham’s Deep South society was infamous for.

They struggled to find words to adequately express the depth and range of emotion coursing through their souls as they watch the most improbable event of history unfold before their eyes.

Ms. Mary Jo, who recently moved back to Birmingham from California, described her feelings best: “It’s indescribably delicious!”

In Birmingham, Alabama, in a room full of people — black people, white people, young people, old people, straight people, gay people, affluent people, poor people — watched on a big screen TV as the first Black man chosen to head a major political party spoke about his vision for America under his leadership. Rarely in Birmingham – even 45 years after the city’s flagrantly racist, segregated society was formally dismantled – can one find such unity in diversity.

I was struck with awe as I listened to Obama give the most impassioned and reasoned speeches of his life, and saw the diverse crowd’s overwhelmingly positive reactions to his words. Mary Jo, Barbara and Brenda stood to their feet, pumped their hands in the air, applauded, laughed, cheered, and sang at defining moments in Obama’s speech, like everyone else did.

None of the three ladies ever believed that they would live to see such a thing as Barack Obama, poised to become U.S.’s first Black President. Maybe in another 40 years from now, in their grandchildren’s lifetimes, after they had gone to glory.

It seemed too much to hope for, so soon after Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” a mere 45 years ago, on the same date. Too much to fathom, after King was assassinated for his bold faith and action, for daring to believe that Blacks were equal to Whites (after having the opposite beat into their psyches for centuries), with a God-given entitlement to be treated with equal dignity and respect afforded to every human being.