Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Some Justice and Peace at Last for Stephen Lawrence

22nd April 1993.

I'm not sure what I was doing on this particular day, but I clearly remember watching the early news about a young black man, an innocent teenager,  who was stabbed to death whilst waiting for a bus in Eltham in SE London.
I also remember that my youngest son was just 6 months old, and my oldest son had just turned 7, and I remember staring into their beautiful ebony eyes and asking  myself how his mother must've felt; knowing that her son was never again to return to her loving embrace... That her son was no longer coming home... That he was no longer able to reach his potential as a young man, and one day, having his own family. That Stephen Lawrence could never fulfill his dream of eventually becoming an architect.

I remember staring into the wistful and innocent gaze of Stephen Lawrence. The ever omnipresent image of Stephen Lawrence, with his striped t shirt on, gazing into the camera lens with a slight smile on his beautiful, cocoa brown face. A smile that held promises of so many things to come in his life. And then he was stabbed relentlessly to death, by virulent  and venomous racists, who chased him down like a runaway slave and  who took away his dreams and evaporated his own destiny..And this made me even more aware that  living within this 'multicultural' society was just a dream. It was not utopia. I had fear.I had an unhealthy, almost pathological  fear for my boys that they would, one day,  end up as a statistic and a blot on this vanilla landscape.

I was politicised before this event. I remember going on the '18 dead, nothing said' marches on the still unsolved mass murders of black teenagers in the New Cross fires in 1981 I remember me, as a young, skinny, afroed young girl, shouting down 'Babylon' on the injustice of being burnt alive, due to the colour of their skin. Where my Africentric posture and words eventually gave me a voice to cathartically  release my frustrations and injustice of living in a society that never saw me. I began writing about my 'invisibility' of being a young black woman, trapped within a society that viewed me with  intolerance and yes, disgust.

I attended the Macpherson Inquiry at Hannibal House in Elephant and Castle in June 1998. I saw the smirk of those white men who casually sauntered away, with blood on their hands and murder on their conscience. I am proud that I was one of the angry spectators that threw eggs at these bastards. I remember,  there was a lot of uprisings on that day; a lot of justified anger. I remember laying in the street in Elephant and Castle and nearly being arrested by the same police force who had let these murderous brutes walk away. How ironic.

After the blunders, the collapse of the private prosecution that the Lawrences brought against the murderers, the out and out racism, no, strike that, INSTITUTIONAL RACISM of the police force, today is a bittersweet day for me I will never forget. It had a huge impact on me, a mother with two young black men.

I cry tears for Stephen Lawrence, and the extent of SOME justice for him; my tears will still flow every now and then until there is a fair completion. Until all of the murderers involved are convicted and sentenced. I pray that they will also be held responsible for Stephen's murder as well. That is why  I have written that SOME justice has been meted out today. Its not complete, but I remain forever optimistic.

I hope to attend the Old Bailey tomorrow morning when these murderers are finally sentenced. My voice will be the loudest and I will be visible.

Finally Stephen Lawrence can rest in paradise and ultimately, peace.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing words and so heartfelt.
    Your writing is soothing to me. Carry on blogging. I'm watching:)