On May 25th, Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer held his knee to an unarmed George Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest, even as George pleaded "I can't breath. You're going to kill me." The police officer, assisted by 3-other officers, continued to kneel on Floyd until he lost unsciousness, and Floyd died soon after. The moment, captured on camera, came on the heels of the shootings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery - two high profile incidents in which innocent black people were killed. The three events which happened within a one-month span during the pandemic follow a long history of police brutality against black people and people of color. Since then, protests have swept the nation with Americans demanding justice for George Floyd, a long list of victims to unjust police brutality and an overall end of systemic racism in the United States. Within less than a week, these protests have taken over the forefront with protests in all 50 states for the first time, ever. Protests have even taken place consistently for six days across the state of Washington; downtown Seattle, Capital Hill, Auburn, Kirkland, Bellevue, Olympia, Bremerton and everywhere in between.
The #BlackLivesMatter protests have been peaceful for the most but have often broken out into violence, vandalism and looting with police using tear gas, rubber bullets and other means as they confront protestors. As of today, all four officers have been arrested with Derek Chauvin being charged with 2nd-degree murder. While justice is on it's way for George Floyd serves as a success for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, changes to the overall system are needed to make sure that this doesn't happen again! Throughout the week, I've been using my voice and my platform to raise awareness, spread positivity and add representation where it matters! I've also made a playlist of inspirational songs that inspire change, love and equality while capturing the beauty, creativity and pain of America through the hip-hop community! Everyone from Queen Latifah and Michael Jackson inspired change back in the 80s and 90s with rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Pac continuing to use their platforms to raise awareness and push for change today. Of course there's sprinkles of Beyonce, 2 Pac and J Cole, amongst many amazing artists that inspire change! Remember, changing the world starts with you! Be your best self today and everyday moving forward! Turn up the volume and sound off to this playist! It's 'Time For Change #BlackLivesMatter' below!
Photo by Getty Images