Contemplating Kalief Browder, The Young Man and his Documentary Portrayal

I have only heard of this young man in passing. I did not know what had actually happened to him. I do know that the Black man, woman and child are born struggling to breathe and it only gets worse. Why the majority of us are not mentally ill is a complete mystery to me.

But then, it would seem that many of us are because where I live now, there is a psychiatric clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital and in it, on any given day, you will see scores of Black men and women heading inside its doors to receive their injection of anti-psychotics and yet, those who are administering these drugs to their Black patients are all to a one, white. How in the world can I go to my enemy and expect him to help me? I cannot. And yet, that is just what we are doing.

I cry for us as I don’t know what else to do!

Whispers of a Womanist

I could not watch the Kalief Browder documentary when it first aired on Wednesday night. In both life and death, Kalief made systemic injustice real and seeing his face—hardened by the realities of an unbalanced system—rendered my sentiments into a state of heartache. Suddenly my problems became minuscule and I felt guilty for not caring enough about the Kaliefs of the world prior to hearing his story.

When news of his death surfaced, my sunken heart broke into a million pieces, reflective of the millions of other lives shattered by the invisible but pernicious wrath of white supremacy. His death? A murder by lynching, suffocation, and strangulation where his black body bore the systemic burdens of his white oppressors. I remember seeing Kalief on the news and on the Rosie O’ Donnell Show. I even remember reading an article about Kalief in the Times. This times article referenced a computer gifted…

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