As a man not only raised by strong women, but also trained in the academy to focus on racial and gender oppression, I understand the need and power of the #MeToo Movement. I am an ally. But at the same time, I am quite aware As a self-proclaimed “woke” black man and academic, the phrase, "I believe the women," reverberates abruptly off the pages of Black U.S. history. Evidence of my fear is hanging from the ceiling of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The museum was constructed by the will of the Equal Justice Institute; a non-profit organization founded and led by Bryan Stevenson on April 26, 2018. The opening of its doors symbolizes the country’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people who were victims of white terroristic behaviors that included lynching. The men’s names that hang from the ceiling are evidence of a presumption of guilt and consequential violence to the said accuser. In reference to Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, the “southern trees [bore] a strange fruit.” The museum gives voice to 4,000 black men, women, and children who were not simply tortured, but lynched, burned, castrated. The incident that recently occurred in Brooklyn signifies that the past continues to influence today.
Terence Fitzgerald Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work
Clinical Associate Professor focused on policy, family and children, social inequality, and institutional racism.