This time, black Americans should feel empowered and optimistic

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In January, Kobe Bryant left this world. In February, Ahmaud Arbery was killed for the rebellious act of jogging while black. In March, many of us lost our jobs because of COVID-19. In April and May, we watched many Americans die from the disease — and we witnessed deadly police brutality.

Despite the unceasing turbulence of 2020, we must use the momentum created by this uprising to create long-lasting changes for the black community.Yes, it is true that our mere existence is a protest against the injustice that is America (white America in particular). However, in developing long-range plans to counter police brutality, in striving for positions of power that will allow us to have more control over institutions, in simply registering to vote, we will create a future in which blackness is not feared, but celebrated.

More recently, I woke up empowered — empowered by all of those who came before me and fought tirelessly for black freedom, and by the response of my community as well as allies of the black community to injustice that was George Floyd’s death and those of so many others.