Most people don’t know that Emmett Till’s death in 1955 sparked the civil rights movement; not Rosa Parks. Mrs. Parks mobilized the boycotts and sit-ins but the images of fourteen-year- old Emmett Till tortured by Ku Klux Klan terrorists (beaten mercilessly), burned into the minds of every black person in America; especially the youth.
White supremacists made three mistakes with Michael Brown:
A.They shot and killed the unarmed teen.
B.They left his body lying in the street.
C.They let the racist cop get away with murder.
They unknowingly awoke every teen his age and older. All the rap music and consumption subsided and an entire generation of kids said “ENOUGH!” The youth are the backbone of any movement; period. Then Facebook and Twitter became less about Little Wayne’s raps about non-sense and more about a murdered teen that could’ve easily been them. Our kids were never afraid, merely distracted and sleep.
And since their awakening, voting rolls are up, activism is in full swing and future presidents are answering real questions. The police have their hands full now that their crooked, racist ways are being exposed. Social media has become less about booty butt cheeks and star gazing, and more about changing the power dynamic. All because black youth realized how much power they really had.
Today, black folks got a refresher course in unity and tenacity. The University of Missouri President resigned because the Football team said they weren’t playing anymore games until he left. When you mess with white supremacist’s money, ‘you got to go’. That was preceded by a hunger strike, sit-ins, protests and all out media coverage of the college’s racist ways. The former president Tim Wolfe was emotional when he announced his resignation. Believe me, he didn’t want to go. It was the faculty and board of alumni that made him step down.
The handful of black faculty and students still realize they have a long ways to go. But it’s a start. This week was a great victory and inspiration to blacks all across America. And the one name they cited as inspiration was that of a young man who lived less then two hours away and will never set foot on their campus; Michael Brown.