A confession: I never watched the viral video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin squeezing the life out of George Floyd, who was murdered a year ago this week.
I can’t remember which video of law enforcement shooting a Black person was my last. Was it the one of South Carolina officers killing Walter Scott in 2015? Or officers in Minnesota killing Philando Castile in 2016? Or maybe the officer in Florida who, also in 2016, shot Charles Kinsey, who was protecting a teen with autism?
For years, I’ve scrupulously avoided bearing witness to brutality against Black bodies and Black death. Somehow, seeing both takes something from me that I can’t get back and leaves a heaviness that I can’t put down.
MLK50 chose to remember Floyd and acknowledge the collective pain in two pieces this week. In the first, we asked poet Nubia Yasin to reflect on making memories and erasing them in the context of a memorial to Floyd and its disappearance.
Next is a guest column from psychologist Archandria Owens. She writes candidly of how she helped her clients work through racial trauma as she wrestled with it herself. If you’re looking for resources on racial trauma or finding a Black therapist, you’ll find them at the end of this piece.
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