The Voices of the Unheard: The Generation that will Breathe.

By: Kayla Taylor

 Logan Square, Center City


    You’ve seen them on the news, and your social media are filled with the hashtags; #GeorgeFloyd #NoJusticeNoPeace #BlackLivesMatter, and it’s safe to say this generation would rather go voiceless, than to be unheard. The youth have dominated the nation with their stories of bravery and solidarity, and paved the way for change. After the tragic death of George Floyd surfaced on the internet, social media went into an uproar and the people decided “We officially have had enough.” Our pain began to spread like wildfire through the streets, people holding up their own signs boldly with phrases like “My Life Matters!” Our babies, as young as you can think, the youth that manned the front lines and the elders who walked before us, felt we traveled back to the days when Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X were fighting during the civil rights movement. They marched and spoke in unison and in ways of their own, demanding the voices and lives of black people be recognized as human. The pain, anger and confusion that rang from their voices and actions are the same feelings that fuel the fights of today.  After all of the unjust deaths stemming from the abuse of power over the people, today’s youth decided that it was time for a wake up call. Now, is a time for change and a gateway to a bigger and deeper change. Within the chaos, there is a feeling of hope. The youth are aware of the social injustice across the coast as well as the systemic racism against our black boys and girls, our time is now. Some people may say the year 2020 is “canceled” but the energy shift towards equality, to put a stop to systemic racism and to allow the voices of those we lost because of a broken system has marked this year as history.  The people are speaking up courageously through hardships of the economy, a pandemic and the clear disadvantages of the system we are currently living in. As protesters gathered together  and shouted the names of our brothers and sisters, we filled the air with the last words George Floyd uttered with his last breath. Their footprints are marked on the streets of our city. There is no block too long that the people will not march! Ask yourself, “How can change start with you?” Chris, the co-founder of I Will Breathe said, “I think we need to educate the youth on what is going on but first ask them how they feel because it’s essential to understand their raw emotions first before we educate them. Once we have that positive dialogue, then we begin to bridge the gap where there may be misunderstandings.” From the beginning of oppression put our ancestors, to the continuous oppression from today’s systems, as black people we have been in an invisible choke hold for years. George Floyd is the last breath the system will take away without a fight. In fact, we WILL breathe, we will be heard and we will not give up.


Alex Alford

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