“How many shots?”
This chant is one of many that we have shouted throughout the streets of Milwaukee. The case of Dontre Hamilton, the young unarmed Black male who was executed in a downtown Milwaukee park last April has made national news. All of this being said, the tragic narrative of Dontre Hamilton is not a new narrative. Therefore, the murders of our Black brothers and sisters has sparked a new movement within the USA, from marches to “die-ins” our voices are loud and clear: BLACK LIVES MATTER!
For me, being a part of this movement in Milwaukee with a social justice group known as The Coalition for Justice, which was formed after the murder of Dontre, has been a blessing. As we have blocked highways, shut down malls, and spent the night outside of jails, this group has helped me to delve even deeper within the meaning of my discernment. Being a Candidate with the Sinsinawa Dominicans Sisters here in Milwaukee during this time, I feel is providential. I say this because many of my Sisters have and continue to stand for justice and journey with those who are on the margins. It is within our 800 year old Dominican heritage to “speak truth with a compassionate heart” and to also speak truth to power. I myself as a young Black woman within this era of “Black Lives Matter” is both inspiring and saddening to me because its 50 years later and we are still marching. However in order for me to “remain in the struggle” I could insert a ground breaking quote by Dr. King, Pierre Toussaint, or Sr. Thea Bowman, but I leave you with this chant, as it has become a prayer for me:
I can hear my neighbor crying “I can’t breathe.”
Now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave.
Calling out the violence of the racist police.
We ain’t gonna stop… til people are free.
We ain’t gonna stop… til people are free!
Megan Graves, Candidate
Whitefish Bay, WI