Tuesday, May 11

Waking Up Black Today in Columbus

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Waking up today felt a bit harder. Getting out of bed even more so. There were three things that keep whirling in my head today as I did everything I could to ground:

  1. There is an automatic camera start when gun shots are fired, 60 second delay, but it’s automatic. Coy didn’t even turn it on.
  2. Casey’s funeral is today. No hashtag because it’s amongst other thoughts, but this point is a stand alone point.
  3. They are going to release more footage where we watch a black man die in front of us. Again. Today, after the funeral.
Trying to wrap my head around all of it and not brace, but bracing is the norm. Prepared for fallout, trauma responses and collective grief and rage is the norm. Making room within myself for all of this complexity to exist.
Right now it’s heaviness and sadness. This shows up as slower moving (slow feet), neutral or blank expression, irritation, lack of appetite, foggy brain, forgetfulness, fatigue, headaches, amongst other things. Black people if you are experiencing this today, of course you are. Be gentle with each other, be gentle with yourselves. 🤎🖤✊🏾
My Black body car sits to find peace.
Debrief from the day.
My neighborhood is mostly Black people.
Who mind their business.
They car sit too.
We glance at each other and exchange nods.
Heavy with whatever we came from.
Clear that this is relief.
Today reminded me.
Nowhere is safe for this Black body.
Not even private property.
Cause Black existence is suspicious.
And the police don’t care to turn on their camera.
Cause we all know.
They know.
We know.
The streets aren’t safe for us.
Our cars.
Nor our garages or our friends’ garages.
They are not safe because of police that watch Black bodies take their last breath and don’t lift a finger to save a life they prematurely ended.
We are often told to protest, move, be, grieve, live in anguish…
Now it’s down the street.
In your neighborhood.
Was it quiet enough then?
What to do with a recurring nightmare in our own backyards?

About Author

Karen Marie

Karen Hewitt is committed to doing the work of holding space to create connection, belonging, and community. Ze currently serves as Deputy Director for Kaleidoscope Youth Center; and additionally facilitates and consults in the areas of Anti-Racism and Diversity Management through K Hewitt Consulting. Karen is also a creative. She is a 2020 recipient of the Create Columbus Visionary Award, a 2021 Cohort Poet in Scott Woods’ Rhapsody and Refrain, and an ensemble member in Counterfeit Madison’s Aretha Franklin Tribute; which performed in front of a sold out Lincoln Theatre in February 2020. In 2019, Karen self- published hir first book of poetry, Grounded; and is excited to release Fire: Poetic Memoirs of a Movement in 2021. Karen serves on numerous committees, commissions, and collectives to further advance the work of racial and social justice, and to foster visibility and representation for Black, Queer, Women (presenting), Non-Gender Conforming and Non-Binary individuals and communities. Her work and presence compels others to journey inward, and encourages them to see the world in more expansive and hopeful ways. She is a non-negotiable stand for the most marginalized and the dignity and value of every human life.

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