What to make of this headline? Association with Beyonce and the movement to secure justice for black victims of senseless crimes comes, (at least in this context) in light of her Super Bowl performance, seen by well over one hundred million people. If this were a real news outlet, this might be the point where I would go on professionally, reverse pyramid style, and give you a nice bite sized story. But since this isn’t that, I might make pause to honestly mention that I did not watch the Super Bowl. Had I, it would have been only for the Pokemon commercial they showed in between the dreadfully dull segments of sports entertainment. Instead, I watched the Pokemon ad online, and was better for it. Online is where I came across this information as well. Evidently, cell phone photography confirms that several of Beyonce’s dancers used this platform to call attention to the Black Lives Matter campaign, reportedly without the pop sensations knowledge. Specifically, the background artists held signs petitioning for justice for Mario Woods–a young man taken by as many as twenty bullets in the process of resisting arrest. Of course, as with anything that happens in this country, reaction in how to cope with Woods’ death is largely split, with some believing that the force was a necessary and appropriate response, and other (correct people) feeling that racially determined police brutality being the prominent force that it is, it is not only pertinent, but crucial that every act of violence (especially lethal violence) is examined under a microscope. Regardless of what one thinks of Mr. Woods’ passing the essence of this matter is that the campaign for racial equality, and transparency from law enforcement again comes to national attention, though this time before the alter of an American icon. Regardless of what she did or didn’t know about her background dancer’s actions (and really, she probably didn’t know anything at all) her new song “Formation”, which she performed at the sporting event, is being heralded as an anthem black empowerment, and this is a good thing. People in this country so often ignore the news, but listening to celebrities is a different thing altogether.
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South City has finally suffered a death worth writing about. Finally. It’s how every town that isn’t South City sees things, so it must true. Travis Whitman was a smart young man. Honors student, choir boy, devoted son, brother, and friend. One of the good ones. It’s no wonder that the world mourns his death. South City is a dangerous place, no stranger to violence, quite familiar with funerals. The world cannot be expected to stop every time one of them drops dead. But this is different, because time, the victim was innocent. As Travis walks slowly the street on the way to drop off a cup sugar to his grandmother, innocently thinking about the young woman that owns his heart, a bullet stops him short of his destination. The shooter, Johnathan Gallespi, a business owner of a dying video store is not the racist that the media would like to make him out to be. Just a bad shot. His intended target, shop lifter Rickie Lithgow dodges Gallespi’s bullets, but cannot escape the fall out of that fateful afternoon. Safe from one white man with a gun, and straight into the arms of another. Both Rickie and Gallespi are arrested that afternoon, and the world is in a fury over what has happened. Anger only grows when the charges are distributed. Gallespi, an elderly white man guilty only of over zealously protecting his store, is charged with manslaughter. Rickie, the young black man who stole the VCR from Gallespi’s shop is charged with felony homicide.
In the midst of all of this, the reactions are split. An aging activist known for extreme measures takes to the streets one last time in a hope to rally for justice, using whatever means he decides are necessary. Meanwhile, a young woman who had been the object of Travis’s affections, crusades for a peaceful resolution, and for justice for Rickie. Chaos reins supreme in South City as a tyrannically unjust justice system continues to destroy lives. ANOTHER BLACK BOY DEAD IN A PUDDLE.
So that’s my book, or at least you know, the sort of information someone might include on a dust jacket. What do you think? The story of course is written in response to incidents like that of what happened in Ferguson Missouri. Incidents that more and more often are finding their way into the public eye without any hope of a resolution. So what do you think? Is this the sort of book that you would be interested in reading? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. If you really like the idea, share the article with your friends as well. All feedback is welcome!
Follow me on Twitter @DewmontPaul to get updates on my book, as I seek representation.