By Terrie M. Williams
With the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin, we once again find ourselves mourning a young Black spirit taken from us far too soon. As survivors, we are charged with honoring Martin and the countless others we’ve lost by standing strong, supporting one another and taking time to consider both our individual well-being and the collective well-being of our community.
At every turn in our lives, we learn that no matter our credentials, we are often treated as “less than” our white counterparts. Taught that we have to be twice as good to get comparable compensation. Treated as if we are at once both invisible and highly conspicuous—ignored when we are in need and profiled when we are simply proceeding.
That a self-appointed neighborhood patrolman targeted Martin because he looked “suspicious” speaks volumes about the experiences we have in communities across the country each and every day.
The trauma of racism is accompanied by post-traumatic stress disorder for many and a great, hidden sense of pain for most. For those who have been following the events that occurred after the killing of Martin last year, this weekend’s not guilty verdict has been particularly soul crushing—bringing all that pain, that Black pain,to the surface. So how do we address our heartbreak? Here are some steps we can all take in the service of our individual and collective healing.