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Black Lives Matter, my mother and September 11th

Opinion

 
 
Make a difference in my role as President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association in New York City, I recently visited Ferguson, Missouri with members of the National Bar Association.
 

During that trip we were accompanied by Jesse Jackson, Benjamin Crump and several mothers of black people who had been killed by the police – including Leslie McFadden, Michael Brown’s mother and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother. At the event, Ms. McFadden urged attendees not to let her son be forgotten. She then spoke about the lack of positive media coverage as well as the need for the Black Lives Matter movement to remind us all that we do, in fact matter.

Her message resonated for me because since the September 11th terrorist attacks, I feel deeply frustrated by the fact the overwhelming media coverage surrounding 9/11 has been focused on victims who were white.

9/11
(Photo/Courtesy of Paula Edgar)
 

My mother, Joan Donna Griffith, was a proud Jamaican-American. At work, she was Joan, an assistant vice president and office manager at Fiduciary Trust, where she worked on the 97th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. At home, she was Mommy and Donna.

I personally find it rare when the media decides to features victims of color when covering this tragedy. This was true then and has remained consistent over the past 15 years. Even the term “victims’ families” was usually referring to the primarily white victims who had organized as the voice of the collective body.

[Photo/Courtesy of Paula Edgar)

(Photo/Courtesy of Paula Edgar)

As a people, we have been lobbying for a fair shake from the justice system, police, Hollywood, labor force and media companies for centuries.

It is important to shine a light on the diversity of the victims whose lives were taken on 9/11. Their lives reflect the depth and diversity that is New York City, even if too much of the coverage has not.

My mother was a loving wife to her husband of twenty years, Peter, and mother to me and my younger sister Joann. She was the youngest of six children, and was deeply loved by a wide range of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was a voracious reader, an excellent cook, lover of Disney movies, music, and she was a natural leader.

She was the person who everyone went to for advice. She was beautiful, smart, thoughtful, funny and kind. She took immense pride in dressing well. She loved all children and frequently took in others when she could.

When my mother was murdered, ‘Black Lives Matter’ wasn’t a saying or movement yet.

To our family, her life matters, which is why I am so deliberate about telling her story and her impact on me as a person, a mother, a wife and a leader.

Like Michael Brown’s mother urged, it is our responsibility to tell the stories that are not told, to remember the people and sacrifices that came before us, and to keep their stories alive.

September 11th changed this country, but more than that, it took the lives of nearly three thousand people – people who, like my mother, were someone’s spouse, daughter, parent, friend. Their lives mattered.

Each of those lives mattered, and fifteen years later, not honoring their individual legacies erases a critical part of American history, diluting the rich diversity that makes our country so great.

Paula T. Edgar Esq. is founder and principal of PGE LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in professional development, coaching, social media strategy, and diversity and inclusion. A civic leader and President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, she received her B.A. in Anthropology from the California State University Fullerton and her J.D. from CUNY School of Law. Connect with Paula on Twitter @Paulaedgar and at www.paulaedgar.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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There are many other millions that have suffered catastrophes. How are they doing? 

The Original Natives, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Everyone that has experienced bombs dropping on their heads, being incinerated in a matter of seconds, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Liberia, Paris, Night Clubs, Paris, Syria, Turkey, the millions living their remaining lives in cages; the many millions that are not and probably SHOULD BE, etc. Aren't they people too??

Why is it that so many people HAVE to DIE to enable so many others to LIVE? Who made those rules? Who makes the choices? God's Helpers or Lucifer's??

Who made the determination to label some "minorities?" Minor to whom? Melanin makes one minor? I thought it protected the human body from the rays of the hot sun. There's certainly NOTHING MINOR with that, if anything, it might make one SUPERIOR. Superior in delaying skin cancer or forbidding it altogether. Have you seen that disease? It's on YouTube; not pretty!! No disease is.

None of the 4-legged animals are identical. Why are human animals supposed to be? Who came to that conclusion? What/who made them the authority of human life?

Who gave the people of CAVES so much authority over EVERYONE else? Did they just TAKE that for themselves and call it Superior, Supreme, Privilege? Perhaps, they'd like to re-think, before everything just fucking disappears forever, including them.

How's Hillary doing? Not appearing too Leader-like yesterday. How many others like her in control of folks right now? Kim seems a little rattled (and that was putting IT mildly.) Ronald McDonald!!

Oh, the Mighty Leaders.

I made another morning, did you? Good morning to you; may your day be pleasant.

Last edited by Norland

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