A timeline of racial injustice in America in recent years
1955 - Emmett Till’s murder
Emmett Till was a 14 year old African American boy who was lynched after being accused of offending a white woman. His brutal murder and the acquittal of his murderers is significant to the long history of the violent persecutions of African Americans. It wasn’t until 2007 that Emmet Till’s accuser disclosed that she had fabricated her story.
1963 – The march on Washington
This Major civil rights march took place to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. It was at this march where Martin Luther King Jr made his historic call for an end to racism with his “I have a dream” speech.
1968 - Martin Luther King's assassination
Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis.
1968 - King Assassination Riots
The King Assassination riots were a wave of protests following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. This was the greatest wave of violence that America experienced since the Civil War. Martin Luther King Jr was an advocate for non-violence, but his assassination led to anger and feelings of violence being the only answer.
2012 - Trayvon Martin’s death and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement
Trayvon Martin was shot to death in 2012 and his murderer was acquitted. Following his death, rallies and protests were held across America. This event played a major role in establishing the online campaign of #BlackLivesMatter. The Black Lives Matter Movement aims to address racial discrimination against Black people.
2014 – Demonstrations against the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and many more
These were demonstrations against the deaths of many African Americans who were brutally murdered by police. Those who died at the hand of police in 2014 include Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, John Crawford III, Ezell Ford, Laquan McDonald, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Antonio Martin, and Jerame Reid, among others.
2015 - Demonstrations against the deaths of Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and more
Demonstrations against the deaths of African Americans by police including Charley Leundeu Keunang, Tony Robinson, Anthony Hill, Meagan Hockaday, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, William Chapman, Jonathan Sanders, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose, Jeremy McDole, Corey Jones, and Jamar Clark. There were also marches and demonstrations following the murder of the 9 African American men and women murdered during the Charleston Church shootings.
2016 – Demonstrations against the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and more
Demonstrations against the deaths of African American by police including Bruce Kelley Jr., Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Joseph Mann, Abdirahman Abdi, Paul O'Neal, Korryn Gaines, Sylville Smith, Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Alfred Olango, and Deborah Danner, among others.
2020 - Deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and more
Currently, there are riots and protests taking place in response to the death of George Floyd and countless other black lives unjustly lost at the hand of the police. Not long ago, Breonna Taylor, was shot dead by police who stormed into her house whilst searching for a suspect who was already in custody. Ahmaud Arbery was fatally killed back in February by two white men as he was out jogging. If not for a 36 second video of the killing being leaked and generating outcry, the three men involved in his murder would not have been charged. Not long ago we all witnessed the video of a white woman calling the police on a black man and telling them that there is an African American man threatening her life. Such an incident highlights how black people being seen as targets is often exploited.
There are so many more names and incidents that have taken place where being black has been the determining factor in an individuals death. As we have seen from this timeline, racism is not something that’s new. It has been prevalent in society throughout the years through prejudice, racial profiling and microaggressions.
Even during a pandemic, our society's most painful realities about race, justice and inequality is brought into the harsh light of day. As an organisation committed to improving the lives of our community and celebrating our culture, our hearts are extremely heavy right now. Yet again we are cruelly and brutally reminded of how unjust the system is to the black community. Not just in America but everywhere. However, we must not despair. We must act. We all have a duty to do what we can to alter those realities and make a change.
It is not enough to say that there’s nothing you can do or be silent because the injustice is not taking place on your doorstep. There are so many ways we can push for change and being silent is not one of them. As Desmond Tutu said "if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
We absolutely stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and urge everyone to do so too.
Here are a few ways to support:
Sign the petition calling for justice for George Floyd
Donate to George Floyd's memorial fund
Text “FLOYD” to 55156 to sign a petition to call for George Floyd's murderers to be charged with murder
Sign the petition to raise the degree of the murder charge against George Floyd's killers
Sign the petition calling for justice for Breonna Taylor
Support the Black Lives Matter Movement https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
More ways to support the BLM movement https://moreblminfo.carrd.co/
Further ways to support BLM https://blmsites.carrd.co/
Check out this thread on Twitter for more ways to support