“Going Hard for #SocialJustice: The Assault at #SpringValleyHigh

“Going Hard for #SocialJustice: The Assault at #SpringValleyHigh October 29, 2015

SpringValleySummer

A few years ago I was asked to come mentor a few black teenage girls in an After-School program from one of my Pastor friends in Nashville. He said, “Cherisna I got these girls coming to our church after school and I dunno what to do with them!” So I came! As a favor to my buddy but also because of my passion for black teenage girls. My first night there he was nervous. He wasn’t sure how it would turn out. He didn’t want them to embarrass him and scare me away. You see these were some “rough ghetto” girls. Ones with attitudes and disrespectful to adults. They weren’t afraid to tell you were to go and how to get there if you know what I mean?!?!? But I am never nervous or scared of our children! I asked him to leave me alone with the girls so we can have some “girls time!” They were suspicious! I was curious! So when we were alone I asked one question and that question continues to haunt me today. I asked, “what does it mean to be a black girl?” They answered me with tears! Each one of them shared a story and we each cried for and with each other. They cried! I cried. We cried together for 2 1/2 hrs. I didn’t know that question would have brought these “rough ghetto” girls to tears. I didn’t know our tears would have brought us to share an intimate moment. I didn’t know the profound affect that question would have in that moment. I didn’t know! But when I think about what it means to be a black girl/woman today I guess crying is an appropriate answer. To hear the stories of black girls in America would bring you to tears too! ‪#‎blackgirlsmatter‬Cherisna Jean-Marie

I go hard for social justice. Sometimes, when people find out what seminary I attended, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, they are surprised I am not more conservative. I get that a lot. But listen, while I appreciate the experience I had at GCTS, to take a page from India Arie, I AM NOT my seminary. I don’t need a school to teach me how to love my people, how to fight for justice and take up for black girls like the one who was assaulted in South Carolina by a rogue cop. I’m black. I live this “ish.” It’s like fire shut up in my bones. For me social justice is not an add-on to the gospel, it is the very heartbeat of GOSPEL. I reject any theological interpretation that suggests otherwise. My liberationist bent was not imbibed in me at my seminary’s knee—it was grafted on my heart by the Holy Ghost. For when the spirit really moves—the spirit necessitates a quarrel with the way things are in the world! Religion that helps maintain the status quo is religion of empire—not a Holy God.-Fredrick Robinson

I don’t care if she smoked 10 joints before school, cussed her foster daddy out leaving the house, keyed a car and stole a Pepsi. You do not flip a child over head first in a desk especially when you are getting paid to protect children while they are at school. Violence is the currency of this empire and black bodies, especially women, are the banks and markets in which the economy of dehumanization is bought, sold, and traded. Hedging black bodies is good business and without it there is no America. You all are correct, parents should teach their children to respect others. Clearly, Mr. and Mrs. Fields failed miserably at that. If they had taught Ben that some 30 years ago we wouldn’t have witnessed what we saw on video. Shame on the Fields for not doing what all good and upstanding parents do.‪#‎SpringValley‬Nick Peterson

 So much pain in the atmosphere. Been this way for awhile now. Once it seems like you get your footing after one blow (Ferguson), another one comes at you another way (Baltimore), and another (beating of Black women), and another (transgender murders), and another (Sandra Bland), and another (South Carolina) until the vicious violence you’ve been holding off with prayer and forgiveness gives way to small cracks and fissures in your window of tolerance (South Carolina student) and you know – without a doubt – it’s just a matter of time……tick tock….-Kimberly Joy Chandler, R3 Contributor

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