Tuesday, October 4

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 Hewitt is a perpetual learner and educator. Ze thrives in building community and relationships that expand the individual, the community, and organizations. Karen is a practitioner and facilitator in the spaces of Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Transformative Justice, and Healing. Specific to Diversity Management, Karen specializes in Anti-Racism, Gender and Sexuality, and Intersectionality. She is a non-negotiable stand for the most marginalized and centers the experiences of Black, Queer, Trans, Enby (Non-Binary), and NGC (Non-Gender Conforming) individuals and communities. She is an invitation into what is possible when we connect with our inner radiance. As an artist, ze is a published author, poet, creative, and musician. Musically, she sings, drums, and uses her voice to unlock permission to thrive. Karen's articles have appeared in the Columbus Dispatch, Cultural Daily, The Buckeye Flame, and most recently, Leadership Columbus' monthly blog, LC Today. Karen Marie is her pen name and she was one of eleven authors published in a collective work entitled, The Black Woman's Guide to Love and Business. She has also published two poetry books, Grounded (2018) and Fire: Poetic Memoirs of a Movement (2021). Karen is a 2020 recipient of the Create Columbus Columbus Visionary Award, a 2021 Cohort Poet in Scott Woods' Rhapsody and Refrain, an ensemble member to Counterfeit Madison's 2020 Aretha Franklin Tribute, and was recently named a 2022 Columbus CEO Future 50 cohort member. Karen Marie just recently produced her book launch show for her second poetry book to a sold out Club Lincoln at the historic Columbus Lincoln Theatre, on April 2nd, 2022.

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