EBONY Magazine: “We Are Trayvon”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Today I was planning on talking about children’s books. The ones that we’re reading right now, the ones listed as Favorites and the Best for Summer and the ones for slightly older kids considered Must-Reads, and about the just released ones that sound fresh and interesting, tackling important subjects like diversity.

But then I read something — not about a book, but a magazine — and knew that I had to share that instead. We can talk about books tomorrow or the day after that. Today, my attention is back to Trayvon Martin and the young black boys who could be him. Today, I’m standing with Ebony magazine as it pays tribute to the slain teenager with four covers of the September issue.

Photo credit: Concrete Loop

I’ve written on MMM just after the Zimmerman verdict was handed down, so you know my feelings on this tragedy and others like it. I’ve also written about gun sense in America (but the real call-to-action blog to read on gun violence prevention is Kristin Wald’s). And I’m in the process of writing a book proposal on race and motherhood, so all of this is at the front of my mind, poking at my already bruised heart.

It’s almost too easy to move away from the heat of this, from the sting of a life discounted and disregarded all because of the color of one’s skin, and away from the painful reality of another mother and father mourning the horrible loss of their son. But magazines like Ebony and its September issue are determined to keep our eyes open and locked in on our vital path.

We can’t forget.

We can’t fall for diversions.

This — saving our children, challenging discrimination and injustice, and moving towards true equality in this country — is important work, and it’s going to take more than a few small circles of people with a shared sense of purpose to bring about meaningful change.

So, thank you, Ebony, for the needed reminder. And count me in.

  • 1

    First, thank you for the shout out. So very honored.

    Second, that collection of covers in the photo made me tear up. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m glad it did. I’m glad and relieved that my immersion in the issue of gun violence hasn’t calloused my psyche so much that I could possibly look away with a shrug.

    Third: “It’s almost too easy to move away from the heat of this…” Yes! Yes, yes, more yes. Just a day ago my town had another four shootings — and of course, OF COURSE, we say “Oh it happened THERE and to THEM.” Because it’s less painful and more simple to move on and pretend we are not “The Other.” Until it’s no longer possible. (This applies to many issues including health care, education, livable wages, environmental issues and so on…)

    I truly believe that it is the good intent of people who recognize that it already is *all of us* who suffer and die and heal and have our hearts ripped out that will change our society and country for the better. Indeed, in some ways it already has.

    But there is work to do – and standing on the work of past generations and saying “Thank You!” is only the first obligation. We must make sure future generations can do the same for us. For whichever issue we choose to dive into. Thank you for using your voice to keep that in the forefront of our minds.

  • 2
    Erin H says:

    I can hardly think about this without tears forming. It is so close to home that I can barely process it. Thank you also for keeping this topic active in our minds.

  • 3

    That last paragraph is so true. Looking forward to that book.