Written By Tamia A. McEwen, PhD
I took a virtual Afrobeats Yoga class from Akoma & Soul on Sunday May 3rd at 3pm and it was everything my mind, body, and soul needed: the vibrant colors, the laughs, the smiles, the movement, the sisterhood, the twerking, the slow winding, the rhythm, the drums, the beat, the bodies, the hair, the melanin, the magic.
It was us healing us. Holding us. Dancing our way up, out and through. Moving mountain and twerking dolphin. No explanations or criticisms. No judgements or harsh critique. It was big and small. Slow and fast. Wide and narrow. Sweet and spicy. It was all things as WE are all things.
Then just this week, a few days ago maybe, a post flashes across my online screen: Georgia man shot dead by white supremacists while jogging in his own neighbor. My heart dropped for a moment and I could not breathe. Not again.
Ahmad Aubrey, we speak your name. You are now among the ancestors.
We run with you.
But we didn’t ask for this. We just want to live. To breathe. To play with our children. To make love and grow shit if that’s our thing. I for one don’t want to be a damn hashtag. I don’t want any more hashtags. So what do we do?
If we know anything about trauma we know that trauma works its way in and literally changes our DNA. Our bodies and brain alter because of direct or indirect exposure to trauma and this is through generations: A natural mechanism for survival.
We were built to last.
But the beat.
The beat of the drum. Rhythm and music has a way of piercing through the negative impact of trauma to create an environment of healing.
How do we respond in times of uncertainty and perpetual pandemic?
We survive. Then we heal. And we thrive. Whatever it takes to process.
We bolster ourselves mind, body, soul and spirit.
We meditate on that which heals us.
We store up our resources.
We eat well. We rest. We release.
Why do we dance? Why do we move? Why do we sing?
The gift of our ancestors.
The gift from the divine for our very survival.
There are many tools left for us. We use what we have until there is room for more. For such a time as this. We were made to survive and thrive.
Be Well, Friends and Family
Akoma & Soul Afrobeats Spotify Playlist:
iRunWithMaud Action Forward
Ahmaud Arbery, a fit athlete, was out jogging near his home on a Sunday afternoon in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020, when two white supremacists saw him, got their guns, got in a truck, chased him down, pulled up next to him, shot him at least two times, and killed him right there on the spot. Ahmaud was unarmed, broke no laws, and did nothing wrong. He was only 25 years old when he died.
The attackers were Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and retired investigator for the DA’s office, and his son Travis. When Gregory saw Ahmaud running in his neighborhood, Satilla Shores, a predominately white community, he and his son immediately armed themselves with a shotgun and a 357 magnum, hopped into their pickup truck, chased him down and shot him.
Every law enforcement agency involved in this case have come up short in their responsibility to seek justice for Ahmaud and his family. While the entire system has failed in this case, there are a few key officials involved that we need to persuade to do the right thing.
At the federal level, we need to persuade the leadership of the Dept. of Justice and FBI to investigate and prosecute this case as the hate crime it is.
At the local level, we need to persuade the District Attorney currently responsible for the case, Tom Durden, to bring charges against George and Travis McMichael and request that a special prosecutor take over the case.
We need you to call ALL of the people on our list. If you’ve never done this work with us before, we’re kind and respectful when we call. Be firm and thorough. Be persistent, but be kind. Leave a message if you have to. Ask to be transferred to someone else if nobody is available.
And when you call, let them know that you are calling to advocate on behalf of Ahmaud Arbery, a man who was murdered in broad daylight by two white supremacists with deep ties to law enforcement. Demand that this case be investigated as the hate crime that it is.”