On the 3rd anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, it is not only necessary to reflect on this fateful day and the ensuing global protests as a result of the barbarity witnessed, but also to review what changes, if any, have been made.
Prior to this seismic event, I had petitioned for more self-advocacy in our communities; being authors of change with the autonomy to research and provide insights to the challenges – and aspirations – among our locales. Unfortunately, I was not taken seriously by entities professing commitment to urban social enterprise, even being laughed at regarding community research as an empowering initiative. That is, until the death of George Floyd:
A Brother took a kneel,
For these people to feel,
The importance of community research,
That resulted in a community of a particular race,
Convening in a particular place,
To counter the prevalent narrative and agenda stifling local development.
It also brought weary community members to approach me to express their anger at the continuing violation and disregard for Black people. The urgency for community-based insider research could no longer be ignored and members were unequivocal in their desire to get involved. Statistics further exacerbated existing tensions but could not hide the reality of Black deaths during the Covid pandemic. The lower socioeconomic strata of many Black communities meant we were more susceptible to succumbing to the virus. Being Black also continues to result in higher death rates at the hands – or knees – of the police.
Dr. Baker’s article, ‘The Kneed for Justice: When taking a knee is an abuse of privilege’, was written in the heat of the protests three years ago, highlighting the urban locale’s close proximity to issues of discrimination and marginalisation. The steps leading to Floyd’s murder are ones familiar to countless young Black men on both sides of the Atlantic, with some meeting similar fates. The parallels drawn in this piece cannot be ignored since they illustrate resilience, alongside the perpetual pursuit for justice. This is why it is timely to reproduce the article now.
We recently commemorated 30 years since Stephen Lawrence was murdered on these shores and his killers were left to roam free and boast of their antics. Similarly, I hope George Floyd and others, who have met similar fates, continue to be commemorated each year.
We must not – indeed, cannot – forget.
May 30th 2023
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May 30th 2023
Jordan Taylor - Founder & Director, Cenethics LtdRead More