On November 6, 2019, Breonna Taylor tweeted "2020 deff gone be my year WATCH!" On March 13, 2020 --a mere four months later--her precious life came to an end.
As the nation prepared to go into lockdown due to coronavirus, plainclothes officers from the Louisville Police Department administered a no-knock warrant after midnight on Breonna Taylor’s apartment. Breonna, who was inside resting with her boyfriend, believed her apartment was being broken into and her boyfriend fired a warning shot at who they believed to be intruders. After a hail of gunfire, Breonna was dead. In the months following Breonna’s senseless murder, Louisville and many other cities across the nation have been filled with civil unrest.
To a certain extent, I am becoming numb to the constant unjust murders of Black people by the police. However, Breonna’s murder still sends chills down my spine. It’s because she is the embodiment of everything society teaches you that you need to do as a Black woman to be successful and live a peaceful life: she worked hard to reach her career goals, was educated, didn’t have a criminal record, loved her community and was loved and supported by her loved ones. Yet, her life was still taken. I still tear up when I think about her because that could have been me. And so, it could have been you.
This year has filled me with a level of fear that is indescribable. If the weight of the pandemic wasn’t enough, as a Black woman I don’t even feel safe in my own home. Like Breonna, I believed 2020 was going to be my year too, but that belief has shifted and evolved. I now believe this is the year I truly learn to press on. I’m becoming more resilient because I refuse to allow racism and inequity to hinder me from pressing on, even when it seems things in the world are crumbling around me. In the moments when I'm filled with sadness thinking of the hardships and tragedies that people who look like me face every day, I am reminded of the power I hold. The work I produce can be transformative for my community and, hopefully, I can remind someone that we must press on even when it seems impossible.
To participate in community conversations, find a Black Lives Matter program event or resource at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library here.
This blog post was written by Cearra Harris at West Boulevard Library.