By RENWEI CHUNG
“When you bring my name up to the judge, just tell him facts / Tell him how we funding all these kids to go to college / Tell him how we ceasing all these wars, stopping violence / Trying to fix the system and the way that they designed it / I think they want me silenced (Shush) / Oh, say you can see, I don’t feel like I’m free / Locked down in my cell, shackled from ankle to feet / Judge banging that gavel, turned me to slave from a king / Another day in the bing, I got to hang from a string.”
This week, David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health, shared a picture on his LinkedIn of 60 first-year Harvard Law School students (1Ls) from the African Diaspora. As of today, it has over 600 likes. My friend Van Ann Bui, SEO Law Director, brought this picture-perfect moment to ATL’s attention.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of another recent viral picture that originated from a neighborhood I lived in a few years back, Deep Ellum in Dallas, Texas. My former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services colleague Erica Broussard and the creative behind the photo, her husband NeAndre Broussard, have been the highlights of my social media feeds as of late.
As highlighted by NBC DFW earlier this month:
The photo shows about 100 men of color, dressed in suits, surrounding 6-year old Harper Anthony, of Chicago. The boy also wore a suit, and without direction, put his fist in the air. ‘It’s a great capture,’ said NeAndre Broussard. ‘It shows that while you’re up next, we’re all behind you and pushing you where you need to go.’
In his interview with ABC WJLA, Broussard stated that he was “trying to make a change, trying to change the narrative.” He started the Black Menswear social media national campaign following several police shootings of minority males. Broussard told ABC “Every time a victim was portrayed in the media, it was always the worst picture.” But time and time again, we witness how unconscious bias, implicit bias, and social narratives paint a much brighter picture of white perpetrators.