“Anniversaries are fraught measures.”
Anniversaries are fraught measures. I think we measure time like that because we believe in something like growth, but I’ve read and heard from many protestors in Ferguson the exact opposite of that thought: that nothing has changed. With the exception of few and limited reforms in certain police departments, nothing has changed. I venture to guess that “the year since Ferguson” only feels that way to people who have not been routinely targeted by the police; for those of us who have, the year since feels more like a lifetime. But visibility has increased. The oppressed now control a record the oppressors cannot censor. I don’t think its premature to say that citizens’ harnessing of social media’s power to disseminate information will continue to force government institutions, local and federal, to submit to transparency. That is important. To me, the #BlackLivesMatter movement is an anti-censorship, radical transparency movement, one that will necessarily change who gets to write history from here on out.
Hairpin contributor Doreen St. Felix is part of a Fader roundtable on the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Writers and activists were asked a two-part question: what has the last year meant and what does the future look like from here on out? Read their answers here.