Blessings and more blessings, family. Like so many of us, my heart has been hurting over the loss of our young brother Trayvon Martin, as well as over the deaths of Rebia Boyd, Shaima Alawadi and all of those who have been slain in acts of violence and discrimination in the past weeks. I pray light and elevation on their souls and that the orisa Ogun and Sango deliver swift justice where justice is due. Ase. 

I knew that I could not let these events pass by without saying something, but what to say? Words seem trite in the face of so much destruction, sadness and anger at injustice.

As well, as angry as we may be, many of us are also hurt. Some, especially our young ones are no doubt wondering, as my nephew asked me when I first explained some of the historical treatment of Black people in America: “Why us?” and “Are we that bad?” Hearing these questions from my young Black prince brought tears to my eyes, but before they fell I managed to say: NO!

NO! We are not bad. No, we do not deserve the hate. No, we do not deserve the death. No, we do not deserve the enslavement. No, we do not deserve the injustice. YES! We are beautiful. Yes, we are proud. Yes, we stand tall no matter how many times we are beaten and shot down. Yes, as much rage as we may feel inside over what’s wrong, we still have room to love what’s right.

As I searched myself for some encouraging words today, music, that universal language, has once again filled in where my own words have faltered. Not music to fuel anger, but words to stimulate soul healing and the strength to move forward in our demands for justice and our promotion of love and positivity.

I pray that we will always remember that, as sister Esperanza sings, we are Black Gold with a diamond soul. We are powerful. We are worthy. May our ways and traditions strengthen us mind, body and soul. Let us band together in love for one another, and let us not be discouraged. As the Japanese proverb says, “fall down 7 times, get up 8!” Ase!

If you have not signed the petitition pushing for the prosectution of Trayvon Martin's killer who admitted to killing him, yet has not been charged with a crime, I invite you to do so here.