In 1945 EBONY was launched to create visibility for Black Americans, who were invisible in the white press at the time — unless they committed crimes. Seventy-five years later, we are proud to continue to bring an authoritative perspective on the multidimensional Black community and serve as a catalyst for reflection and progression.
In the last 30 days, we have seen the modern-day lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, which was encouraged by and then initially covered up by the Glynn County Police Department and District Attorney’s office. We saw the modern-day lynching of an EMT and first responder Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. Last week in Minneapolis, we saw a representative of this country’s law-enforcement lynch George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes — to which Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said, “There is other evidence that does not warrant a criminal a charge.”
When President Trump puts out messages like “if there’s looting there will be shooting,” and officials are prepared to sic “vicious dogs” on protestors, it is not only counterproductive it incites violence. The President’s controversial comments, including calling protesters “THUGS” are only the latest examples of the President choosing to stoke long-standing racial divides rather than trying to comfort a hurting community, a reality at odds with his campaign’s effort to court black voters.
The grotesque face of race relations and anti-Blackness in the United States has been unraveling since the inception of our nation – except now this revolution, our revolution, of peaceful protests and revolts are, in fact, being televised.
Black Americans have been crying out, “Black Lives Matter,” what more do you need to know that this grievance is real. Protesting is not only our right; it is the language of the unheard.
To our non-Black allies – If you are asking for peace yet not demanding justice, now is the time for your silence. Listen to the rallying cries of the Black community who can’t look for protection from those who have sworn to protect us. Black Lives Matter, and WE CAN’T BREATHE.
In response to this sequence of events, EBONY is orchestrating a virtual Town Hall for June 5th with Equal Justice Now, Attorney Ben Crump, Al Sharpton, the ACLU, the NAACP, the National Business League, and the National Baptist Convention of America. Furthermore, we are committed to strategizing with our community through these unthinkable times.