“However long the night may last, there will be a morning.” — African proverb
I imagine that, like me, many other Black activists are tired right now. Tired of the seemingly endless stream of violence against the Black community. Tired of talking about the effects of COVID-19 on schools and students. Tired of the job loss, homelessness, and healthcare disparities. Tired of having sites and sources of resistance like New York’s Occupy City Hall dismantled instead of our demands implemented.
Yes, we’re tired. But, as my mother said to me in the past when I felt tired: “You’re tired? You only just got here. We have to keep pushing.” If we want to change the world, we have to push through the exhaustion and keep on going.
As much as we’ve overcome and as far as we’ve come, there’s so much more to do and farther we can go. Thankfully, the passion, strength, and hard work of our ancestors are always with us — let that fuel you. So are all of the possibilities and dreams they had for the future — let that fuel you too.
In case you need a little more inspiration, I wanted to share a poem I wrote to sort through the pain after the 2015 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston:
Many older than me have survived
Decades of shots fired by those with small-minded views,
Just to hear about nine more of our people
Murdered in recent news.
So I refuse to be black-and-blue, hopeless, or uninspired,
When I look up to see those older than me
Fired up and far from tired.
So instead of giving up,
Swim, pray, breathe,
And not be afraid.
And instead of sitting down,
I will stand up, speak, fight,
And not be enslaved.
Keep standing up. Keep speaking out. Keep fighting. If you live in and/or love Harlem NYC help us disrupt the district with my Kristin for H.A.R.L.E.M. campaign. #BlackLivesMatter
Kristin Richardson Jordan (KRJ aka “Kristin for H.A.R.L.E.M.”) is a poet, local activist, speaker, teacher, DSA member, Black queer woman, and third-generation Harlemite on a mission to disrupt District 9 (central Harlem) with radical love. Her political platform includes advocacy for police accountability, abolition, affordable housing, redistribution of resources, senior care, gun control, education, and environmental justice. Her website is at KristinForHarlem.com.