Speculative Black Fiction: Black Lives Matter Produces A Presidential Candidate
It is the year 2035. Black youth have continued to survive in the racist streets of the United States of America magically. The ancestors must be watching over them constantly, consistently. Anti-blackness is still rampant and out of control, however. Ferguson, MO named a street after Mike Brown after several years of looking back, reflecting upon his death.
The Movement For Black Lives and Black Lives Matter continue to operate and are provided media attention. The January 6th, 2022 events at the Capitol building in Washington, DC began to wake some people up — but still not enough. In 2035 there are still people who back MAGA and shout out D…. T…’s name in some of the weirdest places.
As I sat at a book store in Brooklyn, NY on a Thursday evening, I could see young buppies running in and out of the African American History section of the store. They were eager, hungry for more information, and seemed to have been encouraged by their parents and teachers to learn as much as they can about not only Black history, but the African American experience in the United States. And of course, some of them wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts.
While I am sitting cozy in a leather chair in the book store with my reading glasses on, I hear a strong, powerful woman’s voice appear on the television just across from where I was sitting. I looked up and saw a mocha colored woman approaching a podium. Her name was Jessica Phillips, she too wore a Black Lives Matter t-shirt. She threw her fist in the air to cheering and encouragement. Before she got into her speech she asked an elder can she speak. An elder standing not far from her nodded.
“Peace and blessings good people!” My name is Jessica Phillips. Many of you know me from traveling the country as an activist, organizing with Black and Latinx leadership, and standing up against the murders of our people whenever a voice like mine is needed. I come here to you today with a heavy heart. I come to you to speak because Black and Brown people, increasingly, are still dying in jails, prisons, and at the hands of police. I come to you from deep roots in the dirty south. I come to you with an education from Tuskegee University and with a solid education in Human Rights and Political Activism.”
Slowly, I could see the book store filling up with some of the same young faces I had seen before. They knew Jessica Phillips. They knew her like they know Amanda Gorman. They wanted to hear her powerful words. I could see the fire in their eyes and a sense of change coming like nothing before.
She continued, “We are multiple years past the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor now. Where is the justice?! Where is the accountability?! How much longer do we have to wait until the powers of local and state police departments are destroyed, dismantled?!” The crowd she spoke to roared in agreement. One young Black man walked up to Jessica and gave her a fist bump. She was about to make an announcement that would change the course of Black people receiving justice and equity in the United States.
“I, Jessica Patrice Phillips, am running for the presidency of the United States.”
The young people with Black Lives Matter t-shirts in the book store jumped up and down. They began crying and hugging one another. They could see themselves being led by a Black woman who is not far from their age. They knew the power, the wisdom, the intellect, and leadership capabilities of Black women.
Jessica then said, “I am running under the brand new Black Lives Matter for The People platform. You will learn in the coming days more about this platform. Please follow me on all social media sites.”
“Wait, what?!” I heard a young white woman in the book store say. “Black Lives Matter for The People platform?! Wow! That’s awesome, amazing. I saw everyone in the book store pull out their phones to search for the platform. What Jessica Phillips did broke the internet. She was all over the news minutes after. I could see pictures and short videos on my news feeds. A revolution was televised that day. Gil Scott-Heron would have been shocked.
Thirteen years into the future Black Lives Matter transforms the look of leadership through the political process. We see the fruits rising from the seeds Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Ella Baker, Josephine Baker, and James Baldwin planted years ago. These revolutionaries, writers, activists, and abolitionists saw it coming. They whispered Jessica Phillip’s presence and leadership into action. All we had to do was be patient.