A Letter To A Young (Black) Activist

Dear brother, dear young brother the revolution is in you, about you, made of you. The revolution, a Black liberation for the 21st Century, is needed now more than ever — but the same forces that Harriet Tubman was up against; the same forces that challenged Frederick Douglass; the same forces that pushed back at Rev, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fannie Lou Hamer are still in the way of a revolution for you, and for us, today young brother.

We live in one of the most repressive and violent states in the union. We have Chicago and several sundown towns in nothern Illinois as examples of this. I recently rode through a small town in our native northern Illinois with a friend. That town, I would hate to be caught in at night time. The wickedness, the evils of racism, and anti-Blackness, haunt our actions and our moves as we plot and plan for Black liberation.

Young brother you are an inspiration! I see the fire and the flames in your eyes when we talk, when we build, when we converse about the realities and how things are in Rockford, Illinois — a city forever changed and who is still angry about the People Who Care lawsuit (read about the lawsuit at the end of this article). You can feel the continued segregation, hate, and disappointment of the guilty who will never forgive this city for challenging its institutional and systemic racism. Young brother you know this, you live this, you are fighting against those same factions.

The movement is a collective even when many are not showing up to listen to you, to hear what you have to say. This movement is all of ours, even when too many of us are sitting at home on our couches far removed from knowing what a real revolution is and what it takes to get to revolution young brother. You’re asking the questions they are afraid of. You are speaking up in a locale that deserves your voice, your actions. You are fighting harder than anyone I have seen in this city of ours young brother.

Some are wondering young brother, young Black activist, what is the end game? What do you want? How will your protest, your speaking up and out, how will it end? When will it end?

I am afraid young brother, young Black activist, they think what was served to George Floyd’s murderer is enough right now. They are thinking they fought long or hard enough to get us to this point. I believe they are taking a break young brother. What do you think? How can Rockford, Illinois experience a real revolution? How come so many people here still feel that this city is not racist?!

Dear brother, young brother, I have been right here. I have been here all the time. I am here even when I am not here physically. I am listening to what is going on. I am seeing he inequities, the poverty, the segregation continue. I am watching the west side of Rockford, Illinois decay as if it is not there. I am watching politicians and shot callers with the same last names get away with the decay of the west side of Rockford, Illinois feeding the people there crumbs and false promises.

I know you have a plan young brother, young Black activist. I know you see another side of the revolution here many fail to see or cannot see. People younger than yourself are watching you. They are witnessing an activism they have never seen before. They are wondering why you are doing what you are doing young brother, young Black activist. Your actions are providing them with answers, are giving them encourage. Because of you young brother, they know what anti-Blackness is.

May the Ancestors continue to guide you, ride with you. May they see your truths heard. This city will one day thank you for who you are and for what you are doing. One day it will wake up out of its sleep and realize how long it has needed a revolution!

Dear young brother, young Black activist, keep doing what you do!

We need you.

The People Who Care Lawsuit aganist the Rockford Public School District #250:

Writer, performance artist, and activist who writes about racism, anti-Blackness, and and human rights struggles. A voice for truth and righteousness.

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