• authoraprilkelley1

I Stand with Black Lives Matter

Standing up for Black Lives Matter by April Kelley

I want to state upfront that my heart is with George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other black people who have been murdered by the very people who are swore to protect them. My heart is also with their friends and family.

Having said that, I’m a white middle-class, middle-aged bisexual female from midwestern America. I don’t pretend to understand how someone who isn’t me feels. I can’t possibly.

Empathy and Sympathy are terms that seem interchangeable in our society today, but they mean different things. Empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of someone else. Sympathy is feeling compassion for someone else’s plight. We should all strive for empathy every day even if it is unobtainable. Still, I’m a naïve woman who cries at the horrible stories I’ve heard in relation to police brutality and hate crimes. Naïve because some of it is shocking.

But I won’t contribute to the hate. I know that with a certainty I feel deep in my soul.

I’m a storyteller. That’s at the heart of my fundamental being. But I can honestly say don’t have a story to tell that would make a difference more than George Floyd did. More than Breonna Taylor. More than Ahmaud Arbery. More than Tony McDade. More than Rodney King. The list is long. Too long. And I should list them all. I know that. I want to memorize each one of their names because I’ve heard their cries. I HEARD THEM, and I will not pretend I didn’t.

I stand with Black Lives Matters because his live DID matter. So did all the other black lives who have been lost to societies continued racism and callous disregard for black lives.

Here’s what I do understand. I have certain privileges based on the color of my skin. I also understand that others are condemned and worse based on theirs. I might not know what I can do to create effective change, but I won’t sit back and do nothing.

All month long I’ll feature books written by black authors.

If you’d like to donate or get involved in other ways, please visit https://blacklivesmatter.com/

April Kelley is an author of LGBT Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more. She’s a main contributor at Once and Books. If you’d like to know more about her work, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter https://www.authoraprilkelley.com/.