What I Learned on the Ground in Ferguson, and Where Do We Go From Here
One of the most inspiring things that came out of my trip to Ferguson was seeing the emerging young leaders on the ground doing incredible organizing, despite facing a military force every night for almost 3 straight weeks. They’ve come together under the name Hands Up United and you can see their demands and support them at HandsUpUnited.org. I had a opportunity to participate in a video about what Hands Up means, it’s powerful and heartbreaking. Please watch it and share
However, I was infuriated by the depiction of the Freedom Fighters of Ferguson, who resisted a army equipped with tanks, snipers, sound cannons and chemical weapons, as rioters and looters. These brave young men and women should be applauded and supported, because they showed the world how racists and oppressive these police forces are. I had the opportunity to participate in a townhall called Ferguson and Beyond at Busboys and Poets in DC on Wednesday. Lead by the Institute of the Black World , Chairman Ron Daniels was clear in his support for these young warriors and called for strong support of the young leaders on the ground. The entire panel, which includes myself, a call in by actor/activist Danny Glover, and many next steps and solutions, is below.
I spent much of my time in Ferguson with rapper/actor/producer David Banner. The community of Ferguson was so happy to see him because of his strong defense of their actions in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. He spoke at an event called Peace Fest in St. Louis and had strong words for the community and the police. Check it out below
I’m grateful that Harry Belafonte and Sankofa.org made it possible for me to go to Ferguson. I’m thankful I was able to witness history first hand, and I truly believe this is the beginning of a movement to make sure Black lives are valued and protected everywhere. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.