I CAN breathe.
I can have my breath taken away by a breathtaking view while the warm sun breathes down my neck as I wait for a celebratory bottle of wine to breathe next to me before I breathe a sigh of relief as it all breathes new life into me.
I can do all the sayings.
I can do all the breathing things.
I can breathe freely.
A basic bodily function necessary for giving life, continues to be a struggle for others. All because they’re trying to breathe while having dark skin.
They have to hold their breath walking through neighborhoods where others might feel they don’t belong.
They whisper reminders to themselves under their breath to be calm and be cool during a simple traffic stop over a burned out blinker.
They do not breathe a word when confronted for no reason, attempting to diffuse the situation and quietly move on with their day.
They keep breathing their last breath under the heavy knees and bullets of people who hate for no reason.
They may not have breath anymore, but their names and stories should be reminders of why we need to use our breath to demand changes.
Use your breath to SAY THEIR NAMES:
They can’t breathe. Many more like them can’t breathe. Even more will not be able to breathe some day if we don’t use our breathe and voices to stop the spread of hate.
Maurice Stallard. Vickie Jones. Timothy Caughman. Clementa C Pinckney. Cynthia Hurd. Susie Jackson. Ethel Lance. Depayne Middleton-Doctor. Tywanza Sanders. Daniel Simmons. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. Myra Thompson. Philando Castile. Alton Sterling. Walter Scott. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Laquan McDonald. Marlon Lewis. Kajuan Raye. Ritchie Harbison. Christopher Sowell. Alfred Olango. Terrence Sterling. Terence Crutcher. Levonia Riggins. Alfred Toe. Kendrick Brown. Fred Barlow. Joyce Quaweay. Dalvin Hollins. Clarence Howard. Antwon Shumpert. Ollie Brooks. Jessica Williams. Willie Tillman. Kevin Hicks. Terrill Thomas. Peter Gaines. Marco Loud. Randy Nelson. Freddie Gray. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Atatiana Jefferson. Yassin Mohamed. Sandra Bland. Sean Reed. Rayshard Scales. George Floyd.
Share their names. Pass along their stories. Never forget their names.