A Change Is Gonna Come

It’s the day before Valentine’s Day and my heart is heavy. During the month that the country is celebrating Black Excellence and Black History (although #365black), I started my day of watching all things black with the Sam Cooke documentary on Netflix. I get an alert on Twitter to discover a 21- year old male (#sayhisname Willy McCoy) was shot while sleeping in his car in California over the weekend.

My soul is tired of these new headings, and it seems like it just won’t stop. The lyrics in Sam Cooke’s song echoed as I read the news report. 21 years old. Six police officers all shooting at a young man who was sleep in his car. I’m not sure of his circumstances (maybe it was just a nap or maybe that was his livelihood)- but as someone who has had to sleep in my car many a nights when starting out in LA, this shook me to my core. To be in your own property and not harming anyone and somehow end up dead because it’s a threat to be black is very alarming. It’s heartbreaking, and it infuriates me.

In the Sam Cooke documentary, they discussed the black communities distrust of the police, the murders of innocent black people (especially black men), and what happens when you speak up and speak out (blackmail or death). I can’t help but to see how that still rings true today. When is the change going to come? What can we do to collectively raise our voices? How can we protect ourselves while standing up to seek change?

It might not be much, but I wanted to do my part by writing this post. If we each do something that inspires positive change, it will happen. So whether it’s using your platform to speak out, creating to insight change, or supporting art like “The Two Killings of Sam Cooke,” we all have a responsibility of being better people and bringing out the better side of the human race. I know it takes more than that- but if everyone did it (regardless of race- which is only a social construct), it would be a damn good start.