Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Justice for Akiel Denkins- An Urgent Communication from North Carolina BLM Leader Desmera Gatewood

Justice for Akiel Denkins
And a love letter to the movement.
Before tonight, where we stood we may have all questioned.  I questioned where I stood, where others stood, where we would stand, if we would stand, who would stand, why would they stand, but my state of North Carolina is still standing.  Collectively.  And we're standing for Akiel Denkins.

The people of Bragg Street began this stand with their cries for justice, their testimony, their witness and their assembly in the streets.  They fought against the narrative of anything that made them less than human.  We saw it with our own eyes.  Not as voyeurs, but as lovers.  Lovers of the people.

Folks from Durham, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, and the indigenous leaders of Raleigh and the transplants,  have come together under the sovereignty of Justice for Akiel Denkins. 

Every single type of organization from the Nation of Islam,  Youth Organizing Institute, Youth and College Division of the NAACP, SONG, Spirit House Inc., Black Workers For Justice, SNCC, Crips, Bloods,   And Every single type of person: young people, black people, non-black people, queer people, baptist people, atheist people, gender nonconforming people, elderly people, disabled people, introverts, extroverts, huggers and (not really sure what to juxtapose huggers with, slappers? Idk) have ALL been there for Akiel Denkins.

Now, to my brothers and sisters of NC [(and can someone please tell me the preferential way of acknowledging someone who is gender nonconforming when I say brothers and sisters, because I want to know it, (I said brethren one time and felt like a 60 year old white man, so we need something soon, but I don't mind if that's less offensive, saying that!]  the world is listening and watching to see how a state can come together and grieve and fight for justice after such a disgraceful disgusting, heinous act: The murder of a person.  The deprivation of another black life.  The horror of hate. The symptom of white supremacy.  The result of the lie that is ethnocentrism.  The disregard for another black life.  The destruction of another black home.  The pain of another black mother.  The death of another black man. The bloody hands of another white policeman.

How do we deal with that?  We fight with what my friend April Parker would say is Revolutionary Love, love, love.  And we have done it.  This state.  The state of Ella Baker, Pauli Murray, Floyd McKissick, Bob Zellner, Ajamu Dillahunt, Julius Chambers, John Hope Franklin, GK Butterfield, Rev. Curtis Gatewood, Laila Nur, Vashti Hinton, Qasima Wideman, Bree Newsome, Ashley Williams, Rebekah Barber, Joshua Sankara.  The Beloved Community Center,  Soul City, the Wilmington 10, this state has been standing on the #Frontlines of justice for centuries.

But those names will mean nothing to the cause if we don't remember why we are here. We are here now to say HIS name, Akiel Denkins.  Akiel Denkins is the name of the black shining prince who the media dubbed a drug suspect.  Akiel Denkins is the man who was gunned down like an animal while he fled like a human.

But this is the state that believes in fighting for people over money and we do it forward, together.

Thank y'all for your work.