If you have not seen Fruitvale Station, I highly encourage you to watch this film of a real-life catastrophe based on the last 24 hours of 22-year young Oscar Grant, who was shot by a white San Francisco transit police officer on New Year’s Day of 2009. This was the first time I can recall feeling a growing pain in my heart due to the fact of losing brothers and sisters because of police brutality.
Oscar Grant was the spark of me wanting to be an activist. I couldn’t believe this happened and I will never forget the moment, when I watched this movie in December of 2013… Fruitvale Station was one of the steps towards changing my life forever. Why? Because I want to be a part of the change and I know a part of that is informing people of Oscar’s story.
If it was 2013 and I was just finding out about what happened to our Brother in 2009, I knew something was absolutely wrong with this picture. Why did it take a movie for me to learn about our Brother? And why wasn’t this movie in theaters? I wanted answers. Most importantly, I knew I wasn’t going to be a part of the silence or the numbness that some of us have.
Every year, I think about Oscar Grant. I think about Wanda Johnson, as well because her birthday is on December 31. Not only does she think about what happened to her son every year, but I’m sure a birthday for her will never be the same. In addition, Oscar Grant was a father of Tatiana Grant. That hurts my heart… The bigger problem is we’ve seen this happened time and time again… So when you’re thinking about this year, be thankful for having another moment on Earth. Last, spread the word to inform others because it’s important that we don’t allow their death to be in vain.
Remember, the year is what you create. It may not be a “happy” year, but we can definitely create a “peaceful” one.
Peaceful year to you, your family, friends, and the environment you create!
In close, I would like us to reflect on The Minister’s words:
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
The first day of the New Year should be a day of reflection, a day of prayer, a day of praise and thanks that we were blessed to make it through the last year, because there are so many of those that we know, those that we love, who started the New Year with us last year, but did not know that it would be the beginning of their last year on this Earth. So when we are fortunate to be alive to see an old year go out, and a new year comes in, for me, that time should be spent reflecting and thanking God for those who touched our lives and sweetened our own presence on this Earth, but are no longer present with us.
-The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,