I don’t know what made me buy a plane ticket to St. Louis at 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday. Maybe it was remembering that feeling of helplessness and guilt after learning of the Trayvon Martin verdict while embarking on a carefree cross-country road trip.
Maybe it was Eric Garner, who died only weeks ago in New York, after a police officer wrestled him to the ground and choked him.
Maybe it was going to the south side of Chicago last month, stepping into Trinity United Church of Christ, made famous by the union of Barack Obama and now–pastor emeritus Jeremiah Wright in 2008.
Maybe it was hearing the church’s announcements about the shooting and murder of kids from its congregation that I’d later read about in the news that evening. But perhaps it was just me.
A black boy turned black man who finds it increasingly miraculous that I made it to 27. A black man with a black mother who was alive in the South for the final push of Jim Crow.
And a black man with a black mother with black parents who would have done anything so that their children and grandchildren wouldn’t have to live a life in fear of the dogs. And the hoses. And the bombs.
Either way, learning that an 18-year-old named Michael Brown had been shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and left in the street to die, pushed me to a breaking point.
It felt like I had to come to Ferguson. Not as a journalist, but as a black man fed up with the idea of black boys who are unable to become black men.
I knew I couldn’t tell my mom. She’d be proud I was here, but it would also worry her to no end. And it would be unnecessary worry. Because I’d be fine.
Important piece of journalism here.
A drunk woman on her bike just slammed into me full speed while I was crossing the street, taking us both down like a couple of dominoes. I’ll definitely be limping for the next few days, but I feel like this was the ultimate New York City rite of passage.
Some days, you look back at all the things you’ve done, the painful steps you’ve taken, the sacrifices, the people you’ve left behind to make your crazy little dream real, and you scream in(or ex)ternally, FUCK JESUS SHIT AM I THERE YET? It’s like waiting on a bus that doesn’t have a schedule. It’ll come at some point, or you will die waiting. Shit, wait, I’m stealing that from Beckett.