The large hand-written signs used to say I AM A MAN.
Now they say DON’T SHOOT.
If this is the message, it suggests that our humanity (our manhood, our womanhood) as Black people is no longer in doubt, but the sanctity of our lives as Black people is what is at play. The question, then, is what will it take for the state to respect the lives of Black people, and therefore all people.
There’s a reason that Lani Guiner and Gerald Torres called us the canaries in their book, The Miner’s Canary. [for more on the book visit: http://www.minerscanary.org/about.shtml]