At the age of 7, I learned that racist cops kill black people they’re supposed to serve and protect, including kids, and that an unjust justice system will serve and protect the killers. That was the year 10-year-old Clifford Glover was slain by a cop in Queens, New York. The police officer that did the killing was actually indicted and tried for murder (a first) but ultimately acquitted (not the last). And, upon his acquittal, I found myself in the midst of a protest on behalf of a previous iteration of Black Lives Matter. (There have been several in my lifetime, and more before then.)
This demonstration was attended by everyone I knew, including my entire extended family. Even my teachers, classmates, their parents and the headmaster of my school were in attendance — several of whom were outspoken leaders of the event. We were all in dashikis, gowns and gele head ties, combat boots and dungarees suits, Afros and cornrows — black, beautiful, and mad as hell that this cop was set free.