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America is on fire. Not a surprise to many after another life was senselessly taken away from us. George Floyd represented millions of brown-skinned people that are targeted, attacked and judged based off the color of their skin.

We sang, we prayed, we hoped and nothing changed. Now comes the rage, anger and disbelief. Growing up as young black girl in America, I was aware of the separation of race at a very young age. Raised by my great-grandma, aunt and grandma…I already felt like a burden from day one. My mom who was a former Black Panther left me when I was 4 years old after battling several stages in life. Coming from this environment built a sad, angry confused little girl who was pushed out into a world who then treated me as a burden as well. The reality of police brutality enters our community at such a young age that even as a child I became numb to the image of seeing black men and women beat then arrested. My mom returned 7 years later and instantly began teaching me about her experiences as a Black Panther in ‘AmeriKKKa’. I moved to live with her in NYC and began attending various marches and protests against police brutality. In 1992, I was one of the few featured on the cover of the New York Amsterdam News while being maced by the NYPD at just 11-years old.

We’re treated differently in schools, retail stores, airports and anywhere others can judge or separate us. Our kinky hair, wide noses and bronze-colored skin seems to make some people uncomfortable but our talents, strength and magnetic intrigue them at the same time. We’ve watched men get beaten, abused and viciously attacked by police who have walked off free. They’ve hung black people, used plungers on them and have done deplorable things that get swept under the rug. Fast forward to today and the same things are happening over and over again and the African-American community is livid. 

Michelle Obama tweeted, ‘Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on.’ These are our sentiments. When does it stop? Cities are protesting all over America right now. Some are burning, looting and fighting and others are showing up in huge droves blocking traffic to get their point across.

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What’s next? Where is America headed and what can be done to change police brutality?