A child protesting the killings of Black churchgoers in South Carolina

Black History Is a History of Resistance

The theme of this year's Black History Month is timeless.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my family would’ve spoken about the murders of Tyre Nichols, Anthony Lowe Jr., and Guillermo Medina, two of whom were severely disabled and all of whom were fathers. It would’ve been around my grandfather’s kitchen table, laminated with thick plastic and speckled with age.

I’ve been imagining how my aunt would’ve described precisely how to tangle a powerful person in red tape and my uncle would’ve told us the make and model of his gun. I’ve been thinking of how my grandfather and my father would’ve traded anecdotes about bigotry in their own lives, hoping for a fresh balm, a remedy that hadn’t been tested when they were first hurt.

I can hear my mother telling me not to act out of fear clearly and perhaps that’s because she gave me that same advice a few days ago and a few days before that.

But as much as I wish for their collective wisdom, as much as recalling ghosts and ancestors fills me with nostalgia, I know my family members were at the same loss for solutions during their lives as I am now. When each of us has confronted the problem of being Black in America, we have come to identical results.

In many other countries, daily brutality against citizens would be an overt act of war. But here, in the United States, a country whose most long-lasting legacy is bolstering spinelessness with privilege, killing powerless people is good policy.

But it’s not indestructible policy. And, so far, we have been an indestructible people.

So, perhaps it won’t be you or me, just like it wasn’t our grandparents or ancestors, who wholly dismantles this system of oppression but every time we resist together—in violence or in joy, in work or in rest—a tiny bit of injustice is scraped away.

- Celeste Little, Senior Editor

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