By Kirsten West Savali ·December 24, 2020December 23, 2020

FreeThemAll ShutItAllDown

From political upheaval to expanding freedom movements, from freeing political prisoners to a pandemic that exposed the institutionalized white supremacy that threatens Black lives from all corners, 2020 has been a year of change, witness, trauma, grief, joy, healing, and reckoning.

There are many stories that made us all sit up in our seats, stare at our phones, protest inside and outside the halls of powers and in streets across the United States and around the world. I present just a few of them here.

As we carry the residual impacts of 2020 into the new year, we do so reflecting on the best >“true to what it said on paper.” James Baldwin’s challenge to white America—and to all those who claim to believe in a slow freedom—remains:

“You always told me it takes time. It’s taken my father’s time, my mother’s time, my uncle’s time, my brothers’ and my sisters’ time. How much time do you want…for your progress?”

KENOSHA, WI – AUGUST 26: Lasiya Lakes, 4, raises her fist in the air while chanting Black Lives Matter on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a fourth night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23. Video shot of the incident appears to show Blake shot multiple times in the back by Wisconsin police officers while attempting to enter the drivers side of a vehicle. The 29-year-old Blake was undergoing surgery for a severed spinal cord, shattered vertebrae and severe damage to organs, according to the family attorneys in published accounts. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images) 01Danielle Outlaw: Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner Is A Black Woman For The First TimeOutlaw will take over a department that has been marred by sexual harassment complaints and racial discrimination. 02#FreeThemAll: Freedom, Finally, For MOVE 9At the core, MOVE’s story is about trying to be free in a nation accustomed to Black subjugation and being met with the full, violent force of the state. 03Trump Acquitted Of Impeachment Charges, Will Remain In OfficeThe final vote was along partisan lines—52-48 favoring acquittal on the abuse of power article, and 53-47 favoring acquittal on the obstruction of Congress article. 04All Eyes On Oakland: Moms 4 Housing Continues To FightIn Oakland, a city with the principled struggle for Black liberation in its veins, the glaring structural violence is clear and sustained. 05Bloomberg Regains His Memory On Exonerated Five: ‘I Believe These Men Were In Jail For A Crime They Did Not Commit’When CBS News reporter Tim Perry asked Bloomberg on Monday if his position had changed since his administration dedicated resources to fighting against the Exonerated Five’s civil suit, he responded that he had “no idea.” 06‘CAREN’ Act: San Francisco Supervisors Unanimously Vote To Ban Racially Motivated 9-1-1 CallsSupervisors will vote again on the measure, which was introduced in July, next week. If passed, it will be sent to the desk of Mayor London Breed to be signed into law. 07#ShutItAllDown: Namibia Police Use Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets To Disperse Gender-Based Violence ProtestsProtests, which began after authorities discovered the body of 22-year-old Shannon Wasserfall, continued for the third day in Namibia to fight back against femicide, sexual violence, and abuse. 08Black Detroit Voters Sue Trump Campaign, Claim Attempted Mass Voter Suppression“No more,” the lawsuit states. “The Voting Rights Act of 1965 flatly prohibits Defendants’ efforts to disenfranchise Black people and assault our Republic.” 09Honestie Hodges, Young Girl Held At Gunpoint By Grand Rapids Police In 2017, Dies Of COVID-19“My beautiful, sassy, smart loving granddaughter has gone home to be with Jesus.” 10Miami-Dade Street Renamed In Honor Of Trayvon Martin“Just to have my son’s name on the street, it’s heartfelt,” Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, said at the street renaming ceremony. 11A New World Is Possible: Defund Police And Fund Black LivesThe Movement for Black Lives calls for defunding the police to release urgently-needed community resources to realize real public safety. 12Kamala Harris’ Historic Win Brings Hope, Power To Black Women After Four Hard YearsBlack women have historically dared to challenge white supremacy and were long kept from ascending to the heights of power because of it. Harris’ appointment has been a project in building power nearly 400 years in the making. And we’re not done. 13Election 2020: ‘Cori Bush Is Going To Congress’She becomes first Black congresswoman of Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. “To the people of St Louis, this is for you,” Bush said. TOPICS:  breaking news cori bush COVID-19 donald trump impeachment Kamala Harris 2020

The post Stories That Captured Our Attention In 2020 appeared first on Essence.

FreeThemAll ShutItAllDown

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