WHAT WOULD CORETTA THINK?

Billy Osogo

I conscientiously followed the trial of the ex-officer responsible for George Floyd’s death. For 9 minutes and 29 seconds he pocketed as his knee snuffed the life out of a helpless, unarmed, handcuffed George Floyd. 331 days later his actions caught up with him. He was found guilty of all charges. 

Speaking after the verdict was passed, President Biden remarked:

“I can’t breathe. Those were George Floyd’s last words. We can’t let those words die with him. We have to keep hearing those words. We must not turn away. We can’t turn away.”

In hindsight, it took a nexus of various events for justice to be served. A brave girl with a camera who continued filming even amidst threats from the police officers. A community who had long borne the brunt of law enforcement since the days of slavery. People of goodwill who understood that no one is free until we are all free. 

Coretta Scott King in her memoirs My Life, My Love, My Legacy chronicles her upbringing in the racist South. Growing up in the era of “Separate but equal”, she witnessed hate and violence meted out with impunity against black people.

As she recounts , it wasn’t unusual for black people to be beaten to a pulp on account of their race. Bombings on houses of black civil rights leaders was more the norm than the exception. Administrators like Bull Connor of Birmingham were more than willing to exert the state’s monopoly of violence on protestors.

However, as the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd revealed, the “us versus them” has since become stale. We can see through the ruse. The world witnessed people of all races, classes, gender and origin, standing up against injustice. Coretta Scott King, as prescient as her husband Martin Luther King Jr, wrote about this years before. 

She writes of a Beloved Community and describes it as:

“A spiritual bond that claims the energies and commitment of a diverse group of people who desire to serve a cause larger than themselves. The Beloved Community is fueled by unconditional love, feels like family, and transcends race, religion and class.”

I wonder, if Coretta Scott King were alive, what would she think?


24 thoughts on “WHAT WOULD CORETTA THINK?

    1. Hey Cheryl 😃

      Thank you 😊

      I hope so too! Ours is a shared future. This unfounded, visceral hatred on account of an accident of birth, has no place in that future.

      Thank you for making time 😊

      Stay safe.

      1. As a community it’s important to speak against injustice, racial profiling. It’s sickening that in the 21st century something’s happen in broad daylight. Justice should also be sought for all the black men and women mercilessly murdered by people who don’t understand what the police uniform mean. A.B I am a fan of your work.

      2. Hey Winnie 😃

        Thank you 😊

        I couldn’t agree more 🙌🏿.

        It’s good to hear from you 😊

        Thank you for making time 😊

    1. Hey Africanborn😃

      Thank you 😊

      I find hope in the progress we’ve made so far. I think the families of Treyvon and Breyonna see this conviction as a step in the right direction.

      We need to build on it and continue fighting for a better, fairer and more just world.

    2. Our state passed a law making it legal to run over protesters if “they feel threatened.” Georgia’s governor is decreasing the amount of polls, which will or can make it more difficult for blacks to vote. It’s terrible. Idk. For all the progress we’ve made, I think Trump’s ‘devil may care’ attitude emboldened others to take similar actions and stances.

      1. Hey KS!

        What I am learning is democracy is a full-time job. Voting is important but not the end of democracy. Remaining vigilant and holding out leaders accountable is how we build democracies that are meaningful and aware of the plight of its citizens.

      2. So glad to hear of these favourable legislations being passed; and you are very right on the negative impact of Trump’s leadership, or careless statements to be more specific.

      3. That is Trump’s legacy-division or more division in our nation and ever more blatant racism in the 21st century. He should be so proud.

  1. Wow… this gave me all kinds of good head-tingles — the power of good arising from bad. Beautifully written, and that lovely ending! With Coretta Scott King’s (—had not known of her till now! thank you!—) beautifully-coined concept of a Beloved Community! 💗🔆

    1. It’s disheartening to say the least.

      I find hope in all the people from all walks of life who came out in one accord to say that isn’t acceptable. It’s those acts of courage and solidarity that bring about change and real justice in our communities.

  2. As a community it’s important to speak against injustice, racial profiling. It’s sickening that in the 21st century such incidents happen in broad daylight. Justice should also be sought for all the black men and women mercilessly murdered by people who don’t understand what the police uniform mean. A.B I am a fan of your work.

  3. I think that if Coretta Scott King had been able to witness all that has gone on she might have fallen into despair. This guilty verdict may have allowed her to feel some optimism that the tides may be changing. May it be so.

  4. Giving people time, respect, and love. This can be one of the hardest things to do when we see people as “other” in whatever way that is. It is at these times we must be vigilant of our own ingrained behaviours, and fight against instincts that seek to draw us into behaving “as we always have,” to actively move our world towards the one Coretta describes.

    I fail at this often, but I want that world. In the small ways that I can I hope I am lifting the everyone around me up, so they will want that world too, and take action within their own life, the things we can change, to bring it closer to reality every day.

    You write well, my friend, about topics that need to be talked about, that encourage examining our own behaviour and how it affects those around us. Thank you. 🧡❤💛

    1. Hey Hamish 😃

      You are spot on! Moving towards that world doesn’t lie in the big, thunderbolt epiphanies. It requires us to take small, deliberate steps, forward.

      Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for always making time, my friend 😊

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