Black. Lives. Matter.

Art By: Zahra Markatia || IG: @artbyzamark

Just 3 words. 3 words that mean so much to those living in the United States and around the world, not just this past week but since the Civil Rights Movement. 


This blog is dedicated to the black community, and it won’t be a short one so get ready.


 I stand with you


I incorporated quotes provided to me by my peers who are from the Black community because I wanted to give them a chance to have their voices heard. Let their words speak to you, and listen to what they have to say because it comes from the heart and is first hand experience. 


If you think racism doesn't exist, you’re purely ignorant. If you are racist,


 I DO NOT support you.


This nation is built on being “the land of the free”. Specifically in this sense, freedom of expression, as outlined in the 1st amendment of our constitution. Freedom of expression: speak up for yourself. Make an impact, make an expression. 


It’s more than just police brutality, the death of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, and so many other innocent black lives is just a symptom of American institutions. I go out protesting for the lives of every member of the black community, not just myself. It’s exhausting living in a world where we are looked at as expendable just because of the color of our skin. -Sophia Shumacher 


In the year 2010, the people of the world thought we would have flying cars by 2020, a whole new world. We thought that there would not only be progression in technology, but also in the human race. Now, what do I mean by that? 


Racism has been a part of society for as long we can remember. Now think of this, why do we set each other on a level of hierarchy within our society based on skin color? Why don’t certain individuals view people as equal?


I’m disheartened by what I am seeing in the world today. I thought that if we envisioned flying cars by 2020, why didn’t we envision human equality and that Black Lives Matter (BLM)? We thought of the impossible, while BLM and anti-racism is possible. It’s about acceptance. It all starts from those who are privileged enough to change the ongoing pattern of inequality within our society today…


I think the time for revolution is now. We as a people are tired of the corruption of the police force and having to keep marching because they keep killing unarmed African American people. -Michael Carrion Jr. 


We were all born and raised to “Bleed Red, White and Blue”. We are all built the same. We are all AMERICAN. None of us are different. We are all human. 


This country was built by us, but not for us -Maggie Gathumbi 


Based on a conversation I had with my roommates, I realized there are many different perspectives on this topic. As a result of the conversation, we questioned: Why are people thinking of human rights in a political sense? 


Honestly, it's a great question, WHY?

As humans, we have emotions, don’t neglect that fact. Yes we have laws, we have a government, but where have human rights really come into play? 

Instead of the politicians, where are the humanitarians? This isn’t a fight to divide the country. This is a fight to preach that Black Lives Matter, in solidarity.


Ya’ll listen to our music, jack our style and copy our culture but don’t want to stand up for our HUMAN RIGHTS?!?...This has far surpassed police brutality this is systematic MURDER. This isn’t about politics, I myself am a BLACK female who grew up in a CONSERVATIVE home. This is about standing up for the widespread injustices that our nation consistently disregards. This is about vouching for the human rights that ALL people deserve and are entitled to. The core values of Liberty, Diversity, Individualism and Equality that our very nation has been built on are NOT being honored...Just because something doesn’t affect you directly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care. -Angelique Kayla English


It is about the Black community, no one else. If you are not part of that community. Don’t use the current situation to fuel your own agenda. It is great to be passionate about the subject, but don’t tear others down in doing so. Don’t build one race up by tearing another down. 


I identify as an African American Latino, and I have experienced the many forms of racism and oppression. It makes me cry. I have absolutely no shame in admitting that. Everything that I have experienced and everything that I’ve been seeing around the country today makes me cry. The more I think about it, the harder I cry. Why should anyone have to endure this abuse for so long? But it also makes me so happy and so proud to see so many people stand together for what is right. To see so many people of all color stand next to each other and fight this fight with us is immensely heartwarming. It definitely makes me feel less alone. -Martin Rodriguez


TO MY FELLOW AMERICANS: I promise, I stand with you. To those of you who are reading this: I fully support you in your choices in wanting true equality. For me, being from Broward County means I was raised in a city where diversity is widely accepted and promoted. Unfortunately it's not widely accepted in other parts of the country. Seeing that from a different lens, it is unfortunate and breaks my heart. When I sat next to my peers in class: I never saw a difference between us due to the color of our skin. I always viewed my peers as equal to myself. I valued the diversity within my classrooms as there was always something new to learn from each other even though we may have had different perspectives. How does the color of your skin change the fact that we have a brain, a heart, a pair of hands and legs? The Black community is just as human as the rest of us.


Remember all the support we received from all over the nation from people who have absolutely no connection to MSD [Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School]? It made us feel empowered, loved and like our voices were actually being heard and mattered. So why not do the same for Black Lives Matter? -Angelique Kayla English


TO OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS: Just like in every team, there's the good and the bad. I will not say that all cops are bad, because they’re not. There are racist cops, and there are good cops, but the good cops who stand aside and do nothing (pssst… you’re also part of the problem). I know for a fact, you good cops know who the bad ones are. Before more innocent lives are lost, check yourselves and your fellow officers. Let those racist officers know that they are not upholding the oath they took to protect and serve their communities. Tell them to step down from their positions. Contact your leadership (Chief/Sheriff) and let him/her know who the bad apples in the bunch are and that they are indeed a threat, rather than a source of aid to those in our community. If for some reason, your leadership is reluctant to take action, then call it out and take your concerns up the chain of command to your local and government officials. You also took an oath to protect and serve, so stand up for what is right. Speak up. Remember that if you don’t, you have willingly chosen the side of the oppressor. Please don’t disappoint those in your community that look to you for safety and security. Uphold and exceed the standard at all times.


Protests are taking place because an innocent black man’s life was taken at the hands of law enforcement and has not received proper justice for his acts. Rioting and looting have also been taking place as a response to generations of systematic oppression based on skin color. As I’m aware it may not be proper, ideal, or make sense to loot or riot, people are frustrated to say the absolute least. A business can be restored, and a human life cannot be. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is chanted because we want our lives to matter just as much as yours. And I say ‘Black Lives Matter’ because I want to be able to say that I FEEL like my life matters just as much as everyone else’s here. And I would just like to say I am completely and utterly exhausted because we will never be able to find the right words to answer our little siblings and cousins when they see the tv and ask ‘why are black people being killed?’ I know many people may be uncomfortable to speak on this topic because you may not feel valid because you aren’t black. I saw a video of a professor’s lecture that said something like ‘If you are not black and would like to be treated as a black person in this society stand *no one stood up* this means that you know what’s happening, and you know you don’t want it for yourself, then why are you ok with it happening to someone else’...We should NOT have to be desensitized to these heartbreaking matters. This isn’t a battle between 2 races, this is a fight against racism in America. -Ericka Torres 


What are we showing our youth? The future of our country? The people who will be making changes in the years to come? Let's not leave the next generation in a country full of hate. Hate and racism is taught, so let's push for tolerance, acceptance and love for our fellow man and woman.


Lastly, TO THOSE OF YOU BEING ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: continue to fight for the Black community in any way you see fit. Do not judge others for how they are attempting to do so. We are all spreading the word as much as we can in our own way. Putting others down is deterring them from wanting to continue spreading the word because they feel as if what they’re doing is not good enough. You’re also using your valuable time to tear others down when you could be spreading the word yourself, so continue to speak up for those who cannot. 


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Those who have been affected by police brutality… 100 Black Lives and to those who came before them. 

Say their names with me, this is dedicated to you. I stand with YOU.


Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michelle Cusseaux, Laquan McDonald, George Mann, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rubain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Matthew Ajibade, Frank Smart, Natasha McKenna, Tony Robinson, Anthony Hill, Mya Hall, Phillip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, William Chapman II, Alexia Christian, Brendon Glenn, Victor Manuel Larosa, Jonathan Sanders, Freddie Blue, Joseph Mann, Salvado Ellswood, Sandra Bland, Albert Joseph Davis, Darrius Stewart, Billy Ray Davis, Samuel Dubose, Michael Sabbie, Brian Keith Day, Christian Taylor, Troy Robinson, Asshams Pharoah Manley, Felix Kumi, Keith Harrison McLeod, Junior Prosper, Lamontez Jones, Paterson Brown, Dominic Hutchinson, Anthony Ashford, Alonzo Smith, Tyree Crawford, India Kager, La’Vante Biggs, Michael Lee Marshall, Jamar Clark, Richard Perkins, Nathaniel Harris Pickett, Benni Lee Tignor, Miguel Espinal, Michael Noel, Kevin Matthews, Bettie Jones, Quintonio Legrier, Keith Childress Jr., Janet Wilson, Randy Nelson, Antronie Scott, Wendell Celestine, David Joseph, Calin Roquemore, Dyzhawn Perkins, Christopher Davis, Marco Loud, Peter Gaines, Torrey Robinson, Darius Robinson, Kevin Hicks, Mary Truxillo, Demarcus Semer, Willie Tillman, Terrill Thomas, Sylville Smith, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Paul O’Neal, Alteria Woods, Jordan Edwards, Aaron Bailey, Ronell Foster, Stephon Clark, Antwon Rose II, Botham Jean, Pamela Turner, Dominique Clayton, Atatiana Jefferson, Christopher Whitfield, Christopher McCorvey, Eric Reason, Michael Lorenzo Dean, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. 

Be the change you wish to see in the world 

-Mahatma Ghandhi

Until next time, Z


Black Lives Matter


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