May….. In a Nutshell…. Dedicated to George Floyd

I had a few things down for May, but everything seems so small in comparison .

May can and will only be dedicated to George Floyd. It’s crazy to say that we still see these things happening in 2020… But is it really? hasn’t this been happening anyway, doesn’t this happen everywhere- all over the world? ….. but like second class citizens we choose to accept it….(we are not white. We will NEVER be first class). When I saw the video of George Floyd the first time 7 days ago. I thought he’s just going to be another name added to the list of names who get 24 hour coverage and then …. ‘out of sight, out of mind’….. But Wow!!! A revolution has been Bourne!

I hope there is a revolution that comes out of this. There has to be. You can’t have gone this far- to let it all die down now. I’m praying for a revolution….

Rest in peace George Floyd and all the George Floyd’s before him, and the ones at the moment who are still going through the injustice.

George Floyd does not only exist as a black man in America, he exists as a black man all over the world, he exists as a black women, he exists as a hijabi, as a Palestinian, a Syrian, a Burmese, a Sudanese among so many others living through injustice. He exists as a human who is not ‘white’, who doesn’t fit into societal constructed norms, who is of a different social class, who is believed to be ‘the other’…..and that resonates with a lot of people.

My deepest heartfelt condolences to this man’s family. A great loss to the community, a great loss to the world. May there be a revolution for this injustice. May people open there eyes. May people educate themselves. May people learn.

Here’s a few resources. I have found them to be useful. Do take time out to have a read.

Love and regards

Stay safe

M11bna

“When They See Us” – Ava DuVerney on Netflix

Based on a true story, Ava DuVerney brilliantly shows the struggle of these 5 young boys of colour, and the reality of how unjust the criminal justice system can be.

The Central Park 5- is what they were famously called. I hadn’t actually heard of them at all. I was 5 years old at the time- and still living in Malawi (my birth country). But you don’t need to know about them or have known them to be able to feel the emotions that are thrown to us whilst watching.

On April 1989, Yusef Salaam, 15, Antron McCray, 15, Kevin Richardson, 14, Raymond Santana Jr 14 and Korey Wise, 16, were sentenced for the brutal rape of a white woman in New York’s Central Park. A Crime they did not commit.

A 4 part series on Netflix, I had the intention of only watching one a day, I ended up watching all 4 throughout the night, and Evan after watching it, I couldn’t get myself to sleep.

The series captures the boys lives from the very beginning, it covers their arrests, the interrogation, the detention, their lives within the jail community, and trying to live with the stigma whilst out into their own communities and the backlash they face. Each boy faced between 5-13 years in jail and when realeased they had lost there childhood within an institution.

Appropriately called “When they see Us” to emphasise that these boys- as well as general boys or any person of colour is seen in the eyes of others. It also highlights the role of the mass media, in encouraging this view, if not adding to the fuel of its consumer.

Ava in this series is brutal in the way she shows the injustice the boys faced- yet in the interview with Oprah Winfrey we are told that she omitted a large part of the boys (now men) lives- as it was something the viewers wouldn’t be able to face. I can’t Evan imagine what this is. As watching this broke me.

The actors and The Exonerated 5.

I cried for these boys, I’m still crying for these men. I’m in awe of how they Evan came out of it alive and how they are carrying on.

The torture they went through, the brutality, especially Korey- who till the end remained firm in not pleading guilty, although he was already paying for the price of something he hadn’t done, is unimaginable and so admirable.

Seeing the men on Oprah broke me more- it put a face to the series. I can’t switch off because it happened. It’s real, and the worst is- it’s probably still happening today.

The Exonerated 5 with Ava DuVerney.

Justice is served, a little to late in my eyes. When the actual rapist confesses to the crime. The Central Park 5 are now “The Exonerated 5” a better deserved name by far. Yet it’ll never change the fact that they lost their childhood. Their traumas will stay will them forever.

I have so much anger, I have so much anxiety, I have so much hurt- yet all I did was watch a series. These men lived it, and yet they compose themselves with the utmost humility and respect.

I recommend viewing this to each and every person, it has lessons for all of us.

If you have watched it- I would love your thoughts.

Love and regards

M11bna

P.s. don’t forget the like, comment and follow button xxx

My take on “Small Great Things” – Jodi Picoult

Do you ever get so consumed in a book, that you try and spend as much of your spare time reading, like every second counts?

I have 5 minutes maximum left before I need to go out to get to work, if I don’t leave in 5 mins I will be late. Honestly I should be leaving right now- that way should I get any disturbances along the way, the 5 minutes allowance will cater for it.

But I will be using every millisecond of that 5 minutes to continue reading this book.

Have any of you guys read this book? If not- Go and get it. It’s a heart stopper.

It’s about Ruth Jefferson a widowed, single parent, black midwife who was banned from looking after a newborn from the parents (Turk and Brittany Bauer- white supremacist) because of the colour of her skin.

This newborn ends up loosing his life whilst under her care- and she ends up being arrested for murder.

We get to see the whole novel unfold from 3 different viewpoints, Ruth, Turk and Kennedy- the female white lawyer defending Ruth.

Name of book taken from this quote. ” Both Ruth and Kennedy have moments in the novel where they do a small thing that has great and lasting repercussions for others” Jodi Picoult.

The book itself is quite disturbing and uncomfortable because it hits some home truths. Kennedy learns these home truths in the novel- it could almost be said that this novel is written as a means to teach us how Evan though we believe we are not racist, we show bias in unsuspected ways, one simple way is when we say “We do not see colour”.

How could this relate to me? As a British Muslim, in some parts of the novel I emphasised with Ruth, it’s a condition we go through- and also like Ruth we put it aside and continue with normal life. We try to belong. In other instances I was shocked. It is brutal. At points I had to put the book aside and breathe to allow it to censor in my mind. I found myself gulping in the frog in my throat, and batting away my water filled eyes.

Living in a multi cultural society I face only minimal amount of racism (it’s there, but not so apparent or threatening) but I hear of stories in other cities, and I feel blessed that I am away from it all.

The ending was dissapointing- for sure. I did a roll eye at one point- why ruin such a good book? It was very cliche- and I think this part was a downer for me. (I think once you read it. You will feel it too) it just felt- not REAL. But apart from that, I consumed my every second free to this book.

After getting over the very clichéd happy ending, we get an insight into Jodi Picoults journey in writing the book, and instantly I forgive her for the bad ending.

She has spent years trying to get the characters in place, and we can feel it through her writing. And Jodi is very brave to be writing a novel of this nature being a priveledged white women- I am sure she will get critism for it. It is fair to say that no matter how much you interact with a person- you can never be in there shoes- unless you are wearing it.

Hats off to her for writing such an emotional, heartbreaking, gut wrenching, tragic and very hard hitting- in your face novel.

It’s definitely in my list of ” best books” read for this year.

Love and regards

M11bna