I won't sugarcoat it: 2020 has been brutal in many different ways. I remember when the pandemic was really in full swing, there were so many public figures comparing COVID to 9/11. They meant to imply that this would be a defining moment for the new generation. They signaled that this would be so impactful that nobody could forget the experience; that it would be etched in our collective memory. Then, I remember hearing about Ahmaud Arbery and seeing that footage for the first time and just being shattered and thinking the same thing: I may not remember the date, but I'll always remember how crushing that footage was to watch. The problem is: then came George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Problem is: then I started thinking about Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland and the many other names that I was struggling to recall. All of these senseless killings happened within my lifetime and those events have already gotten fuzzy. Where was I when I first heard? Who told me? Perhaps most important of all: how much sadness can one heart hold?
I don't have answers to all the above questions. I know and understand those that cannot continue to watch these crippling images of black bodies being destroyed on a devastating news cycle loop, yet I don't want to forget either. We must not forget! I came across "Voices from The Black Lives Matter Protests (A Short Film)" Running 8 minutes and 45 seconds, this video montage composed of audio and visual snapshots in the 14 days after George Floyd's murder put together by Vanity Fair crystallized both my memories of those days, as well as pivotal voices of the movement. For me, the toughest part of all may be the closing screens with the many names that the video is meant to honor. I don't even know all of them, or maybe there were some I forgot. We must remember. This helps me to remember, no matter how painful.