Reflections on Ferguson: United We Fight

Under the "United We Fight" banner, a broad coalition of community groups and organizers in St. Louis marched together in support of the movement for Black lives. (Photo taken by Carlton Mackey)

Under the "United We Fight" banner, a broad coalition of community groups and organizers in St. Louis marched together in support of the movement for Black lives. (Photo taken by Carlton Mackey)

BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADES's very own Carlton Mackey traveled to Ferguson, Missouri on the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. 

Mackey, as an artist, leader, and visionary, documented his experience witnessing this significant moment in American civil rights history.

Palestinian father Siam Nowara embraces public intellectual Cornel West following a commemoration event on the year anniversary and at the site where 18-year old Michael Brown Jr. was killed by police. (Photo taken by Carlton Mackey)

Palestinian father Siam Nowara embraces public intellectual Cornel West following a commemoration event on the year anniversary and at the site where 18-year old Michael Brown Jr. was killed by police. (Photo taken by Carlton Mackey)

An excerpt from Mackey's firsthand account: 

Fear and Nerves in Ferguson                  

From the moment I said yes to the invitation to visit Ferguson, my heart swirled with excitement, anxiety, and fear. Questions ran through my head. I’d consumed hefty doses of media. Would I be safe? Would I end up in jail? Would I get gassed? Would I get shot? 

And apart from the familiar fear that a black man harbors with regard to police encounters, more troubling to admit was that I was actually afraid too of the very people who made up the communities I was going to visit, many of whom looked just like me. I could not claim to be unaffected by the media’s portrayal of the people of St. Louis and Ferguson as violent, as looters. Mixed in with that fear was apprehension around whether my presence would even be welcome. Would everyone’s collective, righteous anger be so high that I would simply be interpreted as one more face to the many outsiders who wanted to “come see what was going on in Ferguson” as if it were a foreign country at best, or an African safari full of wild animals at worst? 

TO READ MACKEY’S FULL REFLECTION, VISIT EMORYWIRE AT:

http://www.alumni.emory.edu/emorywire/issues/2015/october/features/story_4/index.html#.VjzqQbSZ4UW