Join Me: The Above Ground Railroad

I am Sandra Bland

I AM Sandra Bland

Join me: The Underground Railroad of the 21st Century

All Aboard!!!!!

I woke up this morning thinking about the trip that awaits me. My return home. 13 hours. Driving. Immediately, I thought of Sandra. Immediately, I felt as if I was thrown back in time….a time, before the Civil War. Wait…scratch that…a time after the Trayvon Martin case where I no longer feel safe on the streets of America. Yes, sadly, I don’t have to go back as far as the Civil War to feel vulnerable because of the color of my skin anymore. The last time I felt like this, I wrote my blog, “Come walk with me: I am Trayvon.” Feel free to read it sometime. And here we are today. While we’re arguing about where and if a particular flag made of ‘stagnant’ material should wave FREELY in the air…I’m sitting here, flesh and blood, contemplating my own freedom…lack of freedom. Freedom? Riding the Virtual Underground Railroad of 2015. As usual, before I opened my eyes, l began my morning with prayer…then thoughts began to flood my mind. I have not been the same since Trayvon Martin was killed. The morning after, instead of putting my hood on top of my head as I made my way into the brisk morning for my morning jog, a morning full of wet, moist dew, I hesitated, turned around, went back into the house and pulled out a baseball cap. I didn’t trust that people who lack diversity in their love and understanding but full of anger and hate would give me the benefit of the doubt. Instead, I worried that they may try to emulate the power Zimmermann was given and kill another black person (me) because they were afraid…of…something. Remember George was afraid that Trayvon was up to no good and so justified in his predatory acts…We, of course, now know that Trayvon was not doing anything wrong that night and had a hoodie on because it was lightly raining. I have not worn a hoodie FREELY, without pause, since that time. When I am brave and courageous enough to slide the hoodie over my head because I AM an American and I should be able to wear whatever I want, I remain fully conscious about my surroundings and how being black in this country can sometimes come with unique challenges. But reality is reality. I face it head on.

Anyway, so here I am again. Feet planted firmly on the ground on the side of the bed…thinking about my next move. Should I pack the car now? Get gas? Hmm, I know my family’s already worried about me and this trip. Anyway, I am ‘used’ to this weird feeling that tries its best to make me believe that i don’t belong. Like a familiar passenger riding shotgun, I feel its presence each time I drive through parts of the south. It says … Keep Driving and Don’t Stop! If you do, make it quick and get back on the road…and just like “in the old days,” let everyone know where you are from point to point so they can keep a look out. Come to think of it, this feeling has never left me. I have been doing this type of check point traveling for most of my driving life. The difference now is that it doesn’t take a trip down south for me to feel this paranoia. Is it paranoia? Hmmm.

I begin to pack. Just now, I thought of the 3 civil rights workers who never made it passed their next check point (according to the woman who stepped out onto her porch or peered through her window hoping to see the young men pass by her house, a good sign that they were safe and on their way to the next check point). It was easy to use check points back then. With no street lights or paved and lined roads, any one would notice when a car was passing in the night. She knew something was wrong because James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner should have passed her house by now, but they hadn’t. That was June 21st.  Their bodies were found August 4, 1964. I was 6 months old.

Now, I am older, have had more experiences and since the latest travesty, since Sandra Bland, I’m sure like so many other Black, African Americans, I still don’t feel completely safe driving, walking, running, while black. You just never know who you will run into. So … in honor of making sure Sandra Bland did not die in vain, let me say this to you as I begin my trip…just so you know…because one never knows what can happen…

I have never argued with a police officer and don’t plan to. I have never been mistreated by a police officer so although I am cautious, I am not driving with a chip of any kind on my shoulder. I am not angry, sad, or depressed. I don’t smoke. I don’t use or have illegal drugs of any kind on me. I will not speed. I will set my cruise control at the speed limit. I did not kick anyone. I did not hit anyone. I know my rights. I do not have or carry any weapon of any kind on me. I will not drive erratically. I do not have epilepsy. We will not pick up a hitchhiker.

I’m taking you with me on this trip…a trip for Sandy as a law-abiding, free American. I will check in with my FB friends at each checkpoint along the way…forming a virtual checkpoint system for 2015. I will let you know of my beginning and when I arrive safely home to relieve the house sitters of their duties, the end of this journey. OK?

Here we go. The Above Ground, Underground Railroad is leaving the station. All aboard!!!!! Let’s join hands, form a link across state lines and let’s do this!!!!!! Are you ready? (Side note: although I am conscious and aware, like so many others who have had to brave the storms before me, I am not afraid, I am Courageous, I am Brave and I am Ready. I am prayed up, prayed over, covered, favored, and although I may drive through the shadows of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me…thy rod and thy staff – they comfort, protect and strengthen me for His namesake. And let the church say AMEN!!!! AMEN!!!!!) Yes!!!!! Here we go. Welcome to the Underground Railroad of the 21st Century. Thanks for being my lookout. Thanks for riding with me. Together, we CAN make a difference.The Train has left the station. I’ll be in touch!!!!!


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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Watching fit your comments! You can do this! Be safe! Love

  2. Girl, I’m with you all the way! Wish I could be in the car with you, however , you be fine! Oxox

  3. Hi sissy!! Follow back and feel free to check my blog 💕

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