Like many people in our country right now , I am still struggling with anger and frustration after hearing the verdict in the George Zimmerman case. I had hoped that this time, justice would be served. I know that a lot of people are saying that “they were not surprised”, but to be honest, I was surprised. I was truly hoping that the jury would see this crime for what it was and convict him. That may sound a bit naïve to some, but I had hope.
It pains me to know how much pain Trayvon’s family must be in. To not only lose a child, but to have the man who killed him be set free. It is unimaginable. It also pains me to think about how other mothers must feel- the fear that they must experience about what will happen to their own sons.
I pray for peace and healing for all of Trayvon’s family, as well as for all of those effected by this injustice. I pray that with the passage of time, these tragedies occur less and less frequently.
I had the chance to be interviewed by Mickey Melendez on Sunday on his radio station, WBAI. (see below for audio clip) It was such an honor to meet him and to talk with him about our project, Millie and the Lords. And when I was asked about why we are doing this, why this project is so important, I couldn’t help but think about the Trayvons of this world. THIS is why.
Despite the continued injustice, the racism and prejudice that still permeate our society, we cannot lose hope or give up the fight. We have to continue to speak up against injustice and take pride in who we are. There are many ways to do that, and the way I choose to do that is thru art.
Millie and the Lords is a film that addresses these issues that we still face today. Racism, immigration, education, health care. How can we apply the principles that the Young Lords stand for to our situation? Can we apply the principles of self respect, dignity and honor, to help us in these struggles?
On Saturday July 20th, we will be having a Benefit for the film. The event will be held at South Oxford Space, 138 Oxford Street, in Brooklyn, from 6:30-8:30. It will be an inspiring night, with Keynote Speaker Luis Garden Acosta, (director of El Puente) and Mickey Melendez, both former Young Lords members. The evening will also feature performances by Rebel Diaz (rebeldiaz.com) and a surprise theater group.
I hope that you will be able to join us for this event.
Yes, there is pain and sadness. But the story is not over. There is another chapter still to be written. Palante!!!
To hear the audio recording of our WBAI interview, click here: http://archive.wbai.org/parchive/m3u.php?mp3fil=105397426
For more information about the film, check out millieandthelords.com