Over this troubling time, I have seen things that I could have never expected to see in my lifetime. Deaths, Deaths and deaths… But, May 25th 2020, 8 minutes and 46 seconds cut a wound in me the most. Never will I ever forget this day. George Floyd… knelt on his neck by a white police officer for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. 8 minutes and 46 seconds! What had this innocent black man done? How can one watch someone suffer in pain and be unmoved by it? A 46-year old cried for his mother because he was in agony. He was way too grown to shout that word out like that. That alone should have made the police officer think about the consequence of what his action. Writing this, I shed tears. Not just for George Floyd’s death, but for all lives stolen prematurely due to injustice and discrimination.
I asked myself while confined at home why black people are still mistreated in the 21st century in spite of what they went through during slavery and colonialism? I started educating myself more about how long the discrimination against black people has been ongoing for. Thanks to Netflix, YouTube and the help received from my school. It really helped me read more and understand what my identity is and made me aware of the struggles I might face because of my race.
Why must we be treated in a different way from others because of our skin colour? Why must we continue to cry for justice and freedom when we deserve the exact treatment as our white counterparts? We have cried, marched over centuries for justice and peace, but it seems to be a vicious circle. Enough is enough. Now action MUST be taken. The death of Breonna Taylor, yet again, shows how much my generation and I must challenge those who are racist.
Anne Frank’s diary is an amazing book. She spoke about her struggles, her joy and hope. That is it! HOPE‐ she never gave up on hope. She wrote about holding onto it, and having aspirations for a better world, free of prejudice and discrimination. I saw this quote: ‘We are never going to give up on hope for equality, not for one second. We all bleed red’. This quote really is true. It powerfully states how we must hold onto hope no matter what because we know that our lives matter and that we deserve to make our ancestors proud because they had overcome even worse conditions so that we, today, did not find ourselves in the same positions.
I will end by saying that all the lives matter when black lives will matter.
Embrace the PAST
Address the PRESENT
Change the FUTURE
This explains everything in three simple sentences, which means that anyone can understand this issue. It is better to be speaking and addressing this issue than ignoring it. In other words – IT IS NOT OKAY TO SAY NOTHING BECAUSE THAT ITSELF IS SIDING WITH THE OPPRESSORS! Actions that go against our race become blessings because the more they come about, the more people will awaken and rise up one day.
These three lines outline how we must come to terms with what has caused our world to be like this. We need to be accustomed with the fact that the world is very much the same; we are still under modern slavery. We are still limited to triumph and success because of a burden that existed before even our grandparents. As well as this, we can finally look at ways to drastically change the future, making sure that our children and grandchildren do not go through the same path.
How can we fix a problem that we have not created? It is up to white people to come and join us to fix this issue and erase it forever. However how long it takes. We want prejudice and discrimination to be vanished and equality to arise and fulfil our destiny like everyone else.
By Emmanuelle, 13 Enfield County School for Girls
To read the other winning entries visit our showcase of inspiration here
Or see the full list of results bellow