Our Voices, Our Power

Vanessa Lynch | April 16, 2015

Our people have always been people of the oral tradition. We have told stories. Through the power of our stories we have been able to pass tradition and culture and life to the younger generations. In the 21st century where we are a click away from producing our own media and sharing stories with a potentially unlimited audience – our voices have amplified.

The global black family can communicate in ways we have never been able to communicate before in the history of the world. Instantly if a protest breaks out in Boston, you can see it in Barbados. In Gaza? Retweet it in Ferguson. We are continuing to share our stories, and our mediums have expanded.

The problem is that historically our stories have been co-opted and re-written through the views of our oppressor. American history books tell a story of a people enslaved and celebrate holidays and name universities after genocidal white rapists and murderers. They praise land thieves.

Our role has always been to hold and share our stories to make sure that the truth in them is revealed to our youth so that we know our place in history and the context of our struggle.

Recently I was one of 15 people arrested for a shut down action in Springfield. The protest was organized by BLM413, the local chapter of Black Lives Matter. The action was beautifully organized and orchestrated. Peacefully, over 100 of us marched. People from the community ran out to put their hands up, chant with us, one woman brought a stroller with her child to join us.

As we celebrate and try to share our stories, the mainstream media is doing a beautiful job of attempting to fan the fires of conflict. Talbert Swan, the president of the local NAACP chapter has called us disrespectful. The man who has never reached out to us or taken any action with us and is not organizing with any youth, has no right to speak on our action. The Mayor is speaking on, “all lives matter” without speaking to us, and the media is interviewing white people who call us “threatening”.

But we know our story. We carry that. As independent media personnel it is our duty to report the truth. This site is one of the forums where we can share those stories on an uncensored platform.

To all those who supported the action by donating funds, marching with us, standing by us, calling the jail, sharing our livestream, driving organizers, making signs, providing medical support – we salute you.

Black youth across the world are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for our humanity. We are demanding equality and freedom. We are taking back our dignity and leveraging our power. We are no longer silent. United we stand against racism, white supremacy, police terror, the prison industrial complex, capitalism, and poverty.

And we will win.

Please continue to follow our livestream during further protests. We will share our story and determine when where and how our message gets put out.

I wanted to share a brief video of a full interview we did after our release, and the story that WGGB decided to put out.

The team outside of the courthouse

The aired interview.

Please continue to support independent media and remember that all #blacklivesmatter.

Vanessa @drvonskillet


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