I have very little that I know to say about the world and the way it's on fire lately. Living in Chicago, proudly planted in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in America, hearing the helicopters and tear gas shells nearby, while being quarantined for being at risk from a deadly virus, is just plain frightening. I'm a big boy. I've seen a lot. More than you may know. But our world is in the middle of a seismic shift, like an earthquake, that could drop entire lands and peoples into the sea or lift us all to the top of a beautiful new mountain.
I only know this: It's up to us. Every one of us. Silence is criminal at this point.
So, I wrote a song. That's what I do. I’m a songwriter.
It's called "I See Hope."
After that, as the protests over the death of George Floyd continued and dialogues expanded, I had intended to share my journey, as I often do. I was politely reminded that this journey is not mine, by more than one person.
I’m done thinking I know anything. It’s time to listen. I’m going to sit on my hands, shut my mouth, and hear what’s being said. I will never again be silent where injustice or abuse happens.
When our country admits that we’re a post-genocidal nation built on slavery, I think we can begin to heal.
Now I’ll let those who know and experience the truth of what’s happening, do the speaking.
Here are some essays from some Black Chicago journalists that are essential reading:
Eva Maria Lewis founded On The Ground Chi and the Chicago Activists-Organizers Fund.
On The Ground Chi helps people in food deserts on Chicago’s South and West Sides. It’s a personalized free shopping service.
You can donate: https://www.paypal.me/onthegroundchi
Email On The Ground Chi to get on their list: email@example.com
Email the Chicago Activists-Organizers Fund: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask how you can help.
My Block, My Hood, My City is providing relief for small businesses hit by out-of-state looters taking advantage of this crisis. They also provide youth education and outreach, and support for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s a nationwide organization, Color of Change, that has 1.7 million members fighting injustice in myriad ways. Join their mailing and/or donate.
Here’s a list of African-American-owned restaurants in Chicago. Check listings where you live:
Search for opportunities to help in your community. Your search alone will lead to answers.