|“…the oppressed are by their nature…forever in ferment and agitation against their condition and what they understand to be their oppressors. If not by overt rebellion or revolution, then in the thousand and one ways they will devise, with and without consciousness, to alter their condition.”
The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History wishes, first, to offer our condolences to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others whose lives were taken by persons who refused to recognize their humanity and right to life. We join those across this country and throughout the world who’ve reached out to the families to let them know their loved ones will not be forgotten and we will hold their memories close and celebrate them in word and deed.
We here at the Stone Center stand in solidarity with those seeking to bring justice to these families and to communities whose daily struggles are marked with all too common displays of overt and casual racism. For Arbery, Taylor and Floyd, those displays proved to be deadly, repeating a pattern that’s become an internationally recognized feature of life in this country. In truth, there’s never been a moment when it wasn’t.
We, like others, fail to find the logic in the senseless actions that deprived these beloved family members of their basic human rights and the presumed civil rights guaranteed to all in this country. As Lorraine Hansberry noted in the quote above, “oppressed people will almost certainly struggle against their oppressors”, which is their right and their responsibility. And that truism is being lived today as we see thousands – particularly those truly seeking to honor the memories of the deceased – expressing their outrage publicly for the world to see.
We too feel a responsibility and have been guided by our mission to support people of conscience as they organize and non-violently uplift the names of Arbery, Taylor and Floyd through what are known as “ good works”. We pledge to do our part to continue to try to ‘alter conditions’ that limit that pursuit.