This was not how I envisioned my weekend would go.
I boarded a flight to Minneapolis, Minnesota for what I knew would be an educational work weekend at the MBA Research’s 2022 Conclave. Picture it, hundreds of Business Educators and Professionals from all over the country, gathered together in one hotel to network, learn, and grow in their professions. It truly was/is a beautiful sight to behold. Obviously, there were some bumps, albeit, hiccups that occurred along the way but nothing too difficult or overwhelming that requires mentioning here. Yet and still, I sit here now, with a heart that has been shattered into a million pieces.
Ok, I kinda fibbed a bit. There were two big things that happened this weekend that broke my heart. One I will not mention here because it’s not the time (…yet), the other requires you to watch the video below first.
More honesty: obviously I knew about George Floyd and his horrendous murder, but I did not realize that it happened in Minneapolis… my home for the past 3 days. With the constant theft of Black lives that occurs in the US, it’s hard to always remember where devastation takes place. Yes, I know where the Freddie Gray murder occurred because it was in Baltimore and, yes, I know where Trayvon Martin’s life was stolen because, well, Florida is infamous for its overall lunacy. But all of the others, I unfortunately don’t know where they took place. Sadly, there is a high level of desensitization that occurs when we hear about violence. Our hearts cry out for justice, as we transition from one murder to the next, sometimes missing one or more because that murder wasn’t heavily publicized. Read that again. More murders occur than we know about but we miss them because they are not publicized.
A peer mentioned the close proximity of the memorial and suggested that we visit and, naturally, I agreed. My spirit was humbled and my heart broken as I stood in the spot where George Perry Floyd breathed his last breath.
That was only two years ago.
It’s still raw.
It’s still fresh.
It still hurts.
As I walked the space known as The Free State of George Floyd, chills went through my body. The residents of this neighborhood created an area that respects the life and tragic death of a man who simply wanted to go to a store and then get on with his day. Venturing over to the graveside of 132 victims, my body shivered as I realized that my name could be out there. My education and current zip code matter little in a split second moment when someone else has the power to take or sustain my life. My warm heart and compassionate hugs won’t save my life if someone else is intent on taking it. My $10k smile won’t change the way someone else views my beautiful melanin. My cries to my mama or my God cannot save me from the business end of a weapon.
The tears flow freely from my heart and eyes as I write this piece.
I’m sitting at Peavy Plaza in Minneapolis, listening to my Shift Song, while wearing my “Black History is US History ” hoodie and I cannot help but recall the names of 132+ people who should still be alive to sit next to me. Questions of why I am here and they are not dance through my mind. I know what Scripture says but in this moment, I need a little bit more than that…
I don’t have a strong ending for today. I don’t have many words of comfort to offer you all because I’m still searching for them myself. What I can say is this, as was said by Sam Cooke, a change is going to come. A change will come to mend and heal all hearts that are like mine…
…in a million pieces.