For too long, our televisions and our newspapers have been filled with images and accounts of a country in deep, deep pain. But this pain is not new, it is not fresh, it is a pain, a frustration, a heartache, a rage that so many in our country live with, every day. Some of the earliest lessons bestowed by Black mothers upon their children are lessons about how to interact with law enforcement - where to keep your hands, what to say, where to look, how to breathe. There is an undeniable truth in our country: race matters, particularly when you are stopped by police. As people who have overcome some of life’s greatest setbacks, and as people who have made mistakes, we know that in order to solve a problem, we must understand the problem, and we must not be afraid to own that we have a problem. And in pursuit of a solution to that problem, we must have a hope that there is a better way forward.
Today our dear friend, William Snowden, a brilliant and dedicated former public defender, the current director of the New Orleans office for the Vera Institute of Justice, and the founder of The Juror Project, who works tirelessly, every day, to achieve a better way for our city, gave us 3 minutes and 35 seconds of peace. And tonight, we want to share that same peace with you, so that tomorrow, we can all wake up with hope. A hope that one day, some day, A Change is Gonna Come.
With love, and in solidarity,
The First 72+