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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MICHAEL BROWN BAG LUNCH: DIGESTING DEVASTATION

In the aftermath of a devastating decision by the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri -- what we pack with our kids' lunches to sustain them and provide nourishment is critical.


My phone rings early in the morning just before 8AM.  It is one of my dear white friends who is also an ally and a mother.  

She is in her morning mama groove only this morning is different.  It is the morning after the devastating news that the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri declined to find probable cause to indict Michael Brown's killer.  




She calls to talk with me about some work we do in the African American community.  She also expresses her frustration at the Ferguson news.  We both talk about our lack of sleep and the nasty taste left in our mouths.
    
I imagine she is making a phone sandwich between her ear and shoulder while holding the phone.  I can tell she is busily getting her kids ready for the day.  

She prints off a fact sheet of important numbers as it relates to Ferguson.  It is filled with data, such as the number of black people stopped by police and the racial breakdown of who is in charge.  She hands the black and white printed pages to her kids just like she would a brown bag lunch full of bite size data to chew on. 

After her kids are out the door, we wrap up our conversation and agree to touch base again later in the day.  Pieces of the conversation she has with her teenagers before they head off to school stick with me.



Be there for your friends today.  
Know what's going on.  Know the facts.  
Which class are you more likely to have a discussion about Ferguson?   
Use your voice today.  
Be an ally for your friends...especially today.    
The Michael Brown Bag Lunch she packed for her kids today will sustain them in classroom discussion, nourish intimate dialogue with friends, and unintentionally feeds my oh so hungry for justice soul on the morning after still digesting devastation.  I am fed by her presence of mind and find particularly appetizing, her consciousness around raising ally activists.

There are so many more lunches to pack, children to raise, and leaders to activate.  The task seems less daunting when all it takes is packing a simple yet profound lunch.

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