The ladies of the #SomedayIsToday campaign got real with ESSENCE about how they’re dealing with the police brutality epidemic.
Police brutality has long been an issue plaguing the Black community and the most recent officer-involved killings have proven that the epidemic knows no age, class or gender limits.
As communities across the country continue to unite in the fight against injustice, Black Hollywood has teamed up to take a stand through a new campaign called #SomedayIsToday. Among the many familiar faces involved with the movement are actresses Meagan Good, Nicole Ari Parker and Kimberly Elise.
As wives, mothers and daughters of Black men and boys, each of these women have had to confront the issue of growing tensions between the police and people of color through discussions with their own families. For Parker, the conversation has been a difficult one to have with her 9-year-old son.
“I really love that I’ve instilled in my children this kind of sole right to be here, to take up the space that they’re born with, to love people unconditionally and to accept them and respect them,” the wife and mother of two told ESSENCE. “Every mother has to teach their child about stranger danger, Black or white. Everybody has to have that conversation. Don’t go over to a car if somebody asks you for directions, don’t take candy from a stranger. But it’s another thing to have to find the words to explain to them that a cop might make a mistake. It’s unfortunate to have to put that burden on them and I’m struggling with it. My son, he can’t play with his water gun outside anymore, he just can’t,” she continued. “And it’s not even my imagination, I’m not being hysterical. We have seen what happens with Black boys playing with a toy gun in the park. I don’t want all this fear imparted into him but, it’s there.”
Good admitted that having a similar conversation with husband DeVon Franklin wasn’t something she openly embraced at first.
“A few years back with Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell, me and DeVon had had a conversation about how presenting ourselves in a certain way would, in essence, give us a better chance at survival and I was so appalled by the conversation. I was just like, ‘that’s just ridiculous and this is unacceptable.’ And he was like, I get that and that’s true but, at the end of the day, this is just about survival. At the time, I didn’t really process it with my pride and you know I was still angry but, overtime, I’ve come to realize how important it really is.”
The actresses also dispelled the notion that Black celebrities are somehow less likely to relate to the pain, frustration and sense of urgency to find a solution as fatal police encounters continue to increase at an alarming rate.
“At the end of the day, regardless of who you are, you have family in the community,” Elise says. “So, even though one may be a celebrity themselves, they have a son who’s not or a dad who’s not and anything happening to anybody like that is just as painful. It doesn’t have to be just you for you to care and to want to participate in change.”
Good points out that uniting as a community to support one another regardless of social status or background should be the main goal above all else.
“You can ask anyone from Marlon Wayans to Boris Kodjoe and they can tell you that their experiences with being pulled over were similar to what [every other Black man] experiences. I think people are quick to look at certain celebrities and say ‘well, they can do this or that.’ Yes, they have the platform and they have some of the reach, but in order for them to do that successfully, they really need more people supporting them and less people pointing the finger. It’s all of our responsibility and we really can’t be effective until we all come together to take on leadership roles and support each other no matter who we are.”
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SOURCE: ESSENCE – Rachaell Davis