Written WorksA Black Man's Cry Robert L. Dortch Jr. | May 29, 2020

As I viewed the video of George Floyd crying out, "I can't breathe" and calling for his mother, I wept. At the same my son's voice is crying out, "Dad where are we safe?" Honestly, I don't have an answer.

Since the first Africans arrived on these shores in 1619, Black lives have been at risk because white nationalism has been deceptively wrapped as democracy and codified in the constitution with the 3/5th compromise seeking to label us as less than human and for 400 years we've fought what feels like a losing battle again structural and systemic racial injustice.

I continue to weep and ache every time I witness African American men and woman lose their lives at the hands of those who do not recognize our beauty and humanity and who are threatened by our presence. As a son and a father, and an African American man, I am proud and grateful to be born in this beautiful black skin and to come from a rich legacy of love, faith, service, citizenship and resilience. Yet like most brothers, I personally know the pain and trauma that comes from living while Black. I've been profiled, patted down, had guns drawn on me and forced off the highway by those in uniform. As a father, I know both the joy and the anxiety that comes with having Black sons growing into manhood in a world that doesn't see the beauty we see and sometimes seeks to suffocate their genius, as they learn to spread their wings. 

In spite of the challenges and the hurt we feel, we must remain determined and committed to use our voice and resources to continue to pursue justice. As Fannie Lou Hamer stated; "Those who believe in freedom cannot rest" Let's keep striving brothers & sisters! #AhmaudArbery #BreonaTaylor #GeorgeFloyd #CountlessOthersWhoDiedforJustice

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