Models Monday: Hands Up…Don’t Shoot…Solidarity

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On the Morehouse campus, students from Clark-Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College–collectively representing the Atlanta University Center (AUC)–showed solidarity with citizens/students across the country who walked out of classrooms at 1 p.m. to commemorate the day Michael Brown would never be able to walk into a classroom as he was being lowered into his grave. Classes were not cancelled so these students risked missing lectures, quizzes, attendance, and participation credit to, as one of the conveners repeated, “demonstrate that black and brown bodies matter.” It was good to know that there are young people across the country who are willing to lose something for the sake of a higher purpose. In this case, one student declared that higher purpose to be correcting the popular discourse that suggests black folk need to fix themselves so that tragedies like this don’t happen. She declared that black folk don’t need correcting. She charged that “what needs correcting is a system that routinely kills black men and black women, black boys and black girls,” as the higher purpose.

Changing speakers occurred when the current speaker called out, “hands up” and the audience responded, “don’t shoot.” Using a history and tradition of call-and-response was effectively deployed in the face of neo-police brutality.

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