Black mothers can’t embrace it
Black women can’t explain it
Black children can’t comprehend it
Black men can’t stomach it
When black people unjustly die, there is a hole left in the fabric of time and tatters the remnants of legacy
The hole is more like a vortex that swirls with unfilled purpose and unlived memories

When black men die, there is a void that echoes with screams for a humanitarian moment—now too often with a simple “I can’t breathe”
Gasps for breath that custom-craft amateur profiles of black sons trying to walk in shoes their feet are not yet big enough to fill because they are trying to be a father, husband, and daddy
Black boys give up out of necessity on just being a son and a brother
Black grandfathers, uncles, and brothers stretch their stride to step up in a father’s absence to fill the void
Little black girls embark on a silent emotional quest to connect with something reminiscent of their deceased daddies’ love
Black mother’s prayers are consumed with requests for an impartation of mercy or at least an heirloom of a mask of strength that she dare not remove because she knows eyes are watching her

When black children die, there is a box that fits the body, but not the unfulfilled potential
Black women can’t shake it
Black communities can’t ignore it
Black fathers can’t bear it
The senselessness of unsolicited deaths, as we have seen too often, have involved people undertaking efforts of citizen’s arrests that somehow actually end up with unsolicited people as citizen undertakers

When a black woman dies, the virtue and impact that she was to birth is aborted in the process
Black men can’t carry it
Black children can’t fathom it
Black women can’t excuse it
We say their names and pray for their children who won’t know their kisses or the greatness of their labor

Ugly truth—The black community has known all three deaths—black men, black women, black children—in an unjust way. And now the world hears the moans that are no longer able to stay contained by rocking side to side.
Black people are releasing their cries normally reserved for the gut-wrenching screams in defiance of reality to God and harmonizing into 3-part harmony chants with orchestras of all races who dare to sing along
The echoes from the legacy holes are reverberating in the streets,
Her-story intersects with His-story and impact is birthed through a surrogate process and
unpacks the grave box of unfulfilled potential and gifts it to the next generation with a decree to remain an object in motion.

To my black men, I weep for you, I mourn for those missing in your ranks, I honor you and I love you.
I will support you, I will encourage you,
I will hold you recognizing I can’t bear the pressure of your dead weight—so I need you.
I will fight YOU for YOU.
I will breathe…for you…no with you.

My black sons and daughters, I adore you, I cherish you, I love you
I will invest in you, I will push you
I will defend you and I will correct you
I will hold you accountable to a standard no less than the kings & queens you are surviving…no thriving to be
I will breathe…for you…no with you.

My black sisters,
I hurt with you, I share in your tears and yet I am willing to suck mine back to be strong for you
I will hold the mirror up for you and adjust your crown for you
I will hold back your hair and roll up your sleeves, but I will not let you quit or let you down.
I am breathing…for you…no with you.

While many of us pray to never know the angst of the call, the terror of these videos, and the restlessness of the echoing nights
While our reflection in the mirror reminds us that…but, for the grace of God
I pray that your reflection may remind you that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
There are those who are waiting with bated breath to snatch my words before they proceed off of my lips
To want to tear into the meat of what I said and what I may have meant.

Let me make it plain so that when you repeat it, you get it right.
I, stand in solidarity against social injustice.
My open heart letter is to acknowledge that we are not ok.
I must acknowledge that fact so that I can practice what I preach.
I will continue to use my voice and platform to uplift and encourage people. I will say it again as I have said it many times before…

We must

Reframe our Reality,
Empower Vision,
Activate our Faith, and
Liberate our Legacy.

And I love ALL of you.

Dr. Rollins-Fells