Before any fire can start, there must first be a stimulant. A fire is the result of a chemical reaction after carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen and nitrogen come together in a process called combustion. When a fire roars our bodies feel an intense burn from the heat it gives off. Our eyes are mesmerized by the orange and yellow colors that are reflected by a fire’s sparks and flames. Our noses are engulfed with the smell of smoke that we inhale as a fire pollutes the air with the various chemicals that are needed to cause it to blaze. From a vapor of smoke when it starts to the flames of amber and orange, as it gets stronger, a fire leaves nothing but destruction and devastation until it burns out.
Black America is burning with pain and has been burning for years. Like a fire that needs fuel to ignite the flames, the fuel for Black America’s fire is anger. Anger that has been burning the depths of the inside of the human body for years. Anger that stems from being kidnapped from the homeland of Africa more than 400 years ago. Anger that boils from being made to work in fields and under unruly and backbreaking conditions. Anger from being whipped, hung, and treated like less than a human. Anger from having rights taken away and being told everyone is equal when in fact everyone is separated. Anger from having less that adequate access to fair housing and healthcare. Anger from being stripped of their given name, soul and all hope of better future. Anger from being the victims of a broken justice system that rather have a Black person locked up than reformed. Anger from broken promises of being told year after year that things were going to change only to have things remain the same. Anger from living in a society where justice for all does not include Black America. Anger from having to add another name to the list of Black brothers and sisters senselessly killed by that of a police officer or misguided white man. Anger that it is a crime to do anything while being Black. Anger from those who say racism is dead when it is very much alive and real. Anger from being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Now we all are so angry we can’t breathe.
Black America’s anger has turned into a raging fire of pain for all to be felt. Black America’s pain should be everyone’s pain because any and every threat to justice somewhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Now as the voices of Black America are the loudest that they have been before, I ask, “Do you feel the burn of the fire?”
George Floyd, our George Floyd. He grew up here and walked the streets of Third Ward, TX. Houston can stake claims on the Jack Yates High School product. The gentle giant made impressionable imprints wherever he went. He was one of us. He posed no threat. He was just a simple man living life as he sought the riches of the American dream of peace and prosperity. In the pursuit of al things good, Floyd made his way to the land of bread and butter in search for some “bread” of his own only to have his life cut short in 8minutes and 46 seconds by men who vowed to serve and protect.