LET’S TALK TUESDAYS | OUR STRUGGLE IS GLOBAL (AND OUR VICTORY WILL BE TOO)
We’re over three years into it, and few people know about it. The media have disregarded it. But we, Black people, cannot afford to ignore it.
The International Decade for People of African Descent was launched more than three years ago in January 2015 by the United Nations. It was designed to raise public awareness about the challenges facing people of African ancestry all around the world—challenges that are eerily similar and increasingly urgent.
The Black men and women who fought so hard for this decade-long observance did us a great service. They are calling the world to look with fresh eyes at the Transatlantic Trafficking in Human Beings, which the U.N. describes as “the largest forced migration in history, and undeniably one of the most inhumane.” They are urging the world to recognize that the descendants of the victims of enslavement, people of African ancestry all over the world, are today among the “poorest and most marginalized groups” who “have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security, … and all too often experience discrimination in their access to justice, and face alarmingly high rates of police violence, together with racial profiling.”
This Decade has the potential to help the world see that the oppression of Black people has, in many ways, been unbroken. It urges us to look at Black people in the light of events that occurred centuries ago–but are still reverberating today.
Taking this Decade seriously can help us make the necessary connections between today’s decision in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, calling the police officer’s point blank shooting of Alton Sterling “justified” and “reasonable,” to this month’s brutal killings of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California, and Danny Ray Thomas in Houston, Texas, and the assassination of Mariella Franco in Brazil.