Time to talk.
I don’t know the family. I do know the streets. The bus stop, the bus, the classroom the teacher, the pain have all connected me over the years. More than I had imagined.
I’m tired of all the words even in this blog. I hesitate to write but…… I have to mark the time, have to mark this moment that some of us have been waiting for, for so long.
As a sister I remember calling home to check on my brother. Calling the teacher to warn him that Black boys of Greenwich were afraid to leave their homes and that this thing was bigger than us all. We laid it to rest having neither the power or the strength to know what to do.
I remember seeing her face. She did not smile, it was like her light had been buried with her Son. I remember thinking the reflection of the boys that did it will remain in her eyes until they are caught. She is not messing, she will find you and you will go down.
I carried on with my life that I was blessed to have. I remember looking at our first child, that first morning and knowing I was no longer first, that this boy and his beloved Brother to be would be loved and protected with all our might and that I would pray every time they left our charge. Perhaps this is why I sobbed when our first born first walked to High school on his own. I remember thinking how could such beauty be so unloved?
The years have passed by but we never forgot. Every step of the way. The Elephant and Castle, the front pages, the surveillance footage. The list of names.
I carried on. I remember my first lesson on the internet. The teacher asked me what I would like to learn, I said what does WWW. stand for? She did not laugh she just answered. She said would you like to search for anything on the search engine?
I played around, I travelled the world and then it slowly dawned on me. I had recently tried to get the inquiry report on the case and had been told it would cost £116. Money our young family didn’t have. I put the words in the search engine and it came up.
It was there.
To be downloaded and viewed. For free. And I cried.
Life continued whilst muttering under our collective breath Five white youths.
Over the years his family never gave up , campaigning for their lives and the loss of their Son, Brother and Friend.
I don’t need to tell you, you know what happened next. It was all over the news, all over the country.
She said that even though they have not all seen justice, she can now start her life again after all these years. A resolution that unless new evidence arises, those others will have to answer to God alone.
We shall see.
For now I wish us all well. This defined me as a sister, it certainly marked me as a mother. For a moment it made a difference in my workplace and has still reminds us all of how far we have to go.
This first week I have seen deletion of Facebook friends who showed their true colours, and twitter land looking for distractions from the real questions. One MP’s lack of the words ‘some white people’ and we lose focus.
So how does it work this real life thing? Just what type of country do you want to live in? Where are we going?
I have taken the time to remind myself of the country I live in. My house is not my country. There are racists out there who hate me and mine. There are foolish people who just don’t get it and resist the opportunity to find out more and there are those of us who are too afraid to tell it how it is.
Enough words from me. For now I leave this for all those who have Black children to raise. I wish you love and peace in your heart. I hope you never have to have the reflection of those who harm us in your eyes but if you do I hope all who surround you come to your aid and fight alongside you.
You can count on me, that’s for sure.