Rowdy reached out to several black creatives, writers and artists to create a space to protest the violent system that constantly erases them.
Here are their stories.
(Valerie Muzondi/Rowdy Magazine Art Director)
Editors Note: Some of the content in this post may be triggering to our audience. We have deliberately chosen to exclude graphic photos and videos as to make this project accessible to all.
Over the past several weeks, Rowdy Magazine had been working towards getting writers for articles revolving around police brutality and racial injustice after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery resurfaced in early May. After the violent attacks on protestors after the murder of George Floyd, we decided to publish our project sooner in order to create an evolving platform for writers and artists to express themselves in real-time.
The staff at Rowdy Magazine have created this entry to chronicle the feelings of anger, grief and trauma that black men and women are processing throughout these difficult times. As we are unable to mass-demonstrate due to social distancing guidelines after COVID-19, we hope this space serves as a virtual center to protest the systemic racial injustice we see every day.
Rowdy's goal has always been to empower marginalized communities and talk about important subjects as we hand over the microphone to those voices who have traditionally been left out of the conversation.
The following entries are content created by and for black men and women, specifically for Rowdy's project, or have been allowed to be shared with explicit consent.
For resources to demand action and justice, please visit blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
If you would like to contribute to this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading.
GANESSA DESIR, 19
Racism is alive and well today. For years the system we live in has nurtured and fed this beast. It’s led me to live in fear for the 19 years I’ve been on this Earth.
I’m sick of living in fear. I'm sick of this helplessness. How much proof do we need? How many more bodies need to fall before the nation is finally woken up? Our system is corrupt and changes need to be made. Black people deserve to feel safe and to be free.
I’m sick of this cycle. Black people are actively targeted by this system but are continually told to trust it. Time and time again, it fails us. Countless husbands, wives, children, family members and friends have been taken. Unarmed. The threat I pose has nothing to do with a physical object, rather it covers me. It’s just over my skin.
We live in a world where the skin of black men and women is weaponized.
Racists today have replaced white clothes with guns and badges.
The system is inherently flawed, and we have to fix it.
I’m not saying that all officers are racist––there are many wonderful cops who are truly dedicated to serving and protecting all people. But with every good cop comes even more corrupt ones. Ones who manipulate the power they gain from their uniforms to torture and hurt black people.
To hold someone’s entire life in your hands and feel no sort of remorse for taking it away is just evil. Those who make sick and heartless remarks about these devastations are just as evil.
I don’t know what’s worse, those doing the killings, or the ones turning a blind eye. There are people on the internet mocking the situation, while those pulling the trigger feel absolutely nothing. To live in a world where our bodies are disregarded instead of given the decency we all deserve is terrifying.
These are people we are talking about. Human beings who lived a life, who had a family they loved. Who lived everyday, normal lives with their own stories that were abruptly cut short.
Personally, I understand how some people can’t watch the news. Every time another face, another story, another act of injustice is plastered across my screen, my heart shatters. But the fact of the matter is, it can happen to me. If you’re black in America, it can happen to you, too. Injustice like this can happen to anyone.
The next headline could be my parents, my siblings, my friends or even me.