St. Sabina Church organized over 100 black men, teens, boys, and students from Leo High School in a powerful demonstration professing a definite statement, Stop Killing Us! Father’s, grandfathers, sons, teenagers, and young men lined 79th street wearing masks that said, “I Can’t Breathe,” in a showing of strength and solidarity. As the men gathered, they implored the country to see them and their humanity.
Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina, passionately addressed the men and America about the times we live in.
“We want to reclaim the narrative. For the last five days, all we keep seeing and hearing about from the news, government officials are talking about looting and people rioting. That’s not the narrative. Let’s refocus on what started this. What started this was decades of black men being killed like animals in America, and nobody did a damn thing about it. Colin Kapernick tried to call attention to it peacefully and was demonized, hated, and lost his career. When George Floyd was killed, people said, you are going to listen now. That’s what’s going on in America now. America has a window of opportunity, listen to what’s going now, or what you see is but a glimpse of what’s is going to happen in this country because America is at the door of justice.”
Elder Sam Sanders, “It was overwhelmingly powerful. It’s one of the few times in my life that I didn’t feel like a minority. Being in the presence of all these young black boys and men my age, it’s just overwhelming in a wonderful way”.
Elijah Nix, a future Leo High School Freshman, age 14, said, “It was powerful, moving, and touching. It shows you how much black people care. It felt amazing to be surrounded by so many black men”. His brother, Christian Nix, age 18, future college freshman, said it was an incredible sight. “It was good to see a positive message portrayed. Black Men shouldn’t be targets. America has a long way to go, but if we listen to one another, we can put a positive message forward”.
America, we are your future; without us, there is no future! Stop Killing Us!-Joseph Sanders
The show of strength and solidarity by the men in our community sent a powerful statement that we will no longer be silent, and we will be seen.