When History Repeats

This is a space to be angry, first and foremost. Recognize this is Black anger. Don't coddle the word in your mouth. Pronounce it honestly. As I write this, I am sitting on a cliff cutting my eyes at white joggers aimlessly finding bliss in the 78-degree weather. For me this past week, I've seen white faces unabashed, happiness just a simple task on today's to-do list. No matter the fires, the cites screaming, or the bodies. Bodies. I have to pause because I'm conflicted with the natural desire to add detail. Paint polaroid of a moment in time. But I won't. This won't be another place to glean trauma porn. This is for the respect of Black death. See no matter how you spice PR press solidarity, this fight wears no mask. This is a surrendering rage bubbling and brimming the cups of everyday life.

The 1960 riots were what considered the peak of hostility between the Black American experience and those in authoritative power, The first beginning in Harlem 1964. The July blistering heat doubled with hateful intentions incited the death of 15-year-old James Powell at the hands of officer Thomas Gilligan. His death wasn't something to forget or pass over but started a weeklong protest in the streets demanding justice. This defiance ricocheted throughout the next five years, giving way to some of the most famous riots know in Black history. The Watt Los Angeles riot in 1964 that took the lives of 26 has photos and videos of good ole boys harnessing their authority through their batons, fist, and chokeholds. The Newark riots of 1967 left gruesome pictures behind of misdirected bullets and cracked voices. At that time, we were screaming for a change. We were over the peaceful sermons that walked idly with God's guiding hand. We figured with bloodshed, someone would finally hear us. If the fire just continued to burn for 40 days and 40 nights that the ash would reveal our humanity. Hushed voices and crossed hands were being ignored.

So, the formula of rage is induced by the names of Black women, men, and children involuntarily martyred for the fight of a lifetime. 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1980, 1991, 1992, 2014, 2015, 2020 and the cycle stretches on. The fires continue with historic glory, but what happens when the anger can't find its fuse. When your vocal cords can't produce enough sound? When your bones sink into exhaustion, what will we do then?

Nyla Stanford


If you are protesting please use precautions. Wear complete face masks to cover the entire face and hair. Cover any identifiable markings, tattoos, or scars. Remove your profile picture form socials. Clean them up. Please try to remove as much personal information from bios or tags as possible such as names, schools, or places of employment. Remove Face or Touch Id and only use a pin for security settings. Turn off roaming location tracking from apps, they usually track in the background. Don't post where you are going and don't tag any locations. Keep your phone locked If filming protesting and make sure to not get other protesters in your videos. They will be using the footage to identify and arrest protesters. (Or worse, look at Ferguson protestors "mysterious" deaths) Use the app Signal to communicate with other protesters and friends so messages are encrypted and erased. Please, please wear goggles. They are aiming rubber bullets for visual loss. 

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