By: Gabrielle Jean-Pierre
Two complete strangers, soon to become friends.
Hey there and welcome to Reflect and Rise! My name is Gabrielle Jean-Pierre and I’ll be providing you with my reflections in this awesome sub-segment of our BLM topic. I’ll just get straight to the point; You probably don’t know me, and I may or may not know you. I’m not a celebrity, nor am I a famous writer, but I do have passion and pride in my roots. No matter your racial background, I’m sure you feel strongly about your identity. I mean, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t ;). So all I ask is that you hear me out and who knows, I might just say something that’ll interest you.
Wait… so what’s Reflect and Rise?!
Well I’m glad you asked! This page, and the group we form with it, is dedicated to promoting the importance of strengthening our Black Community. You’ll be provided with some literary pieces of various forms, written by yours truly, to get you started, or help you continue reflecting on the many things that are holding us back as a community. With your participation, my goal is to discuss these things with you, that’ll not only stop here, but will lead to discussions you’ll initiate with those close to you. After everything we’ve faced, it’s only right for us to take the time to discuss our reflections as a group, to then rise courageously from our struggles (Hence the name Reflect and Rise)! My goal is simply to establish a reflective and interactive outlet for mainly Black youth and everyone else interested.
The Importance of reinforcing our Community. Here’s my thought process.
So much has happened in the past months and even that’s an understatement. Although we were quarantined because of COVID, we still got to meet new people and their stories without having to physically go outside. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery, the list goes on with many victims unnamed, as their cases are swept under the rug. Our newest victim, Jacob Blake, shot seven times in front of his three innocent sons who will face trauma for the rest of their lives. This news has completely shaken up the world once again, leaving us with so many questions. Like damn, we protested, we educated ourselves, we educated others, we had difficult conversations with them, we signed petitions, we called the police stations, the mayors, demanding justice, we shared the news on our socials, still demanding justice, we donated, we, we, we… we… why. Why is this happening once again? Where is the end to this? What are we doing wrong? So many questions.
But we’re not doing anything wrong. That’s what I figured out a couple days ago. Martin Luther King Jr. never resulted to violence to get what we dreamed of. Anger is boiling inside of us, yet we’re keeping our composure. We’re at no fault. Us, as Black people, we have done and will continue to do what we need to. We’ve already made COUNTLESS changes. But truly, it’s time for the allies to act. Why would the police listen to us if they see us as their police academy dummies? Why would politicians listen to us if they wouldn’t even elect us into their quarters? Unless they’re forced to have POC on their board of course… But if we have a great number of diverse allies, we have a better chance… I’m just unsure of what to consider an ally. The many who posted the black screen or the ones that truly care? So we have to do this ourselves until the “allies” wake up and join the allies. But once again, will the oppressors listen to the ones they oppress?
Now, the BLM movement is incredibly strong. It’s beautiful because it groups so many Black people of various ethnicities, nationalities, religions, gender identities and sexual orientations. So many powerful communities in an enormous community. But why must we only band together when things go bad? Let’s make this movement our worldwide family. Haïti, my father’s birthplace, was the first island to take their independence, and was once overflowing with riches. They were so powerful. Due to the Europeans, more specifically the French, they were stripped of their riches as were the rest of our Carribean islands and African countries, and are now amongst the poorest. As a result of what Black people have faced in the past, we are not treated equally to this day. However, I strongly believe that by building up our community, they’ll have no other choice than to think of us as humans. As they have made us financially weak, they’ve made the mistake of making many of us rich. If we speak the language of money, we’ll be more credible. As they keep knocking us down, they’ve sparked passion that can no longer be tamed. It’s exciting to think about what we can do as a group. We are the only ones that can create such a resilient movement, just imagine the possibilities…We have a long way to go, there are so many things we need to fix in order to secure our powerful bond. But luckily, it’s here we will be able to grow closer and discuss what we must do to turn our traumatised, yet fierce family into the peaceful army needed to take down the ones who dare to mess with us.
Okay! I hope you’re fired up, since I just read the part you finished reading, and woooo I’m seriously so excited about this!!
The steps we have taken and need to take to build our community (financially and socially). Example: What we should do with our money
The importance of Black youth (Motivation)
The numerous possibilities that await us
Brain-washing within our community *very important*
Our interactions with other communities
And more! (Wow I sound like an ad, haha)
So get comfy since once you’re here, I guarantee you’ll just keep coming back. Finally, we’re all new here, so there’s no need to be shy! Let us know how you’re feeling about this! Any topics you really want to discuss? I’m open to different ideas and I can’t wait to talk more!