On Thursday, July 9, King Street Center kids, staff, families, and Board members gathered to hang the Black Lives Matter flag. In an informal ceremony, Vicky Smith, Executive Director, welcomed the group and invited others to speak if so moved. Below are rough transcriptions of the remarks. During one of the speeches, an individual from across the street yelled a hateful remark, reinforcing the toxic and unsettling presence of racism in our close community. Following the event, a group of campers circled the block with their hand-made signs.
Vicky Smith, Executive Director
We come together today to recognize that Black Lives Matter! We make a commitment create a place of justice, a place of love, a place of equity, and inclusion. We know we have work to do. We will keep working at it. All of you will help us – you children, you youth, you staff, Board, and everyone in the community. We look to you to teach us, to guide us, to fill us with the richness of your souls and your learning. So thank you so much for being here and let’s just keep our voices loud and proud. Thank you.
Mustaf Mohamed, The Black Perspective
I appreciate all the people who came out to support the Black Lives movement today. I know we have a little group… but it’s better to start this way. My name is Mustaf Muhammad. I am Black and I am Muslim. I am proud to be one. I’m not a terrorist. But as you know, history repeats itself. As the days slowly start running together, it’s important to create new visions and goals for ourselves – that we can look forward to and start preparing for gracefully. God knows what’s going to happen next. We don’t have all the answers right now and anyone pretending to have them is lying. Today, though, the truth offends people and lies please them. We show them evidence of something contrary to what they thought it, they would make excuses against the truth and defend the lies that they have been manipulated to believe.
This is the time to slowly nourish yourself mentally and spiritually. Focus your attention inward and get out of the news cycle. Do not waste your time reacting and responding to every single thing. A lot of this is here to to test your authority and see how far you [… missed divine chaos.] Save yourself the energy and protect your peace. I don’t think I’m better than anyone. I just don’t want certain energies around me.
It’s time to stop being surprised – like we haven’t been at war over 500 years. [Integration] was a myth. America still one of the most segregated places on Earth. They want you to keep fighting the war in this physical [place] because they know it’s the only way that they can win. The only ones who should be outside protesting white supremacy and blue police brutality is white people. So many times you want to play victim and and put the blame on our situation while ignoring our part in bad situation where you can change that [weight and] interact with it.
Imagine what it would what would happen if we all came together to love honor and respect one another. Thanks for your time.
Isnino Mohamed, King Street Center parent
King Street is not just a school, not just a preschool – you guys are part of our family. You make everything so nice for us. You come to us with open arms and I’m so glad with everything you have done. We appreciate you so much.