In my role as President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association in New York City, I recently visited Ferguson, Missouri with members of the National Bar Association.
During that trip we were accompanied by Jesse Jackson, Benjamin Crump and several mothers of black people who had been killed by the police – including Leslie McFadden, Michael Brown’s mother and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother. At the event, Ms. McFadden urged attendees not to let her son be forgotten. She then spoke about the lack of positive media coverage as well as the need for the Black Lives Matter movement to remind us all that we do, in fact matter.
Her message resonated for me because since the September 11th terrorist attacks, I feel deeply frustrated by the fact the overwhelming media coverage surrounding 9/11 has been focused on victims who were white.
My mother, Joan Donna Griffith, was a proud Jamaican-American. At work, she was Joan, an assistant vice president and office manager at Fiduciary Trust, where she worked on the 97th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. At home, she was Mommy and Donna.
I personally find it rare when the media decides to features victims of color when covering this tragedy. This was true then and has remained consistent over the past 15 years. Even the term “victims’ families” was usually referring to the primarily white victims who had organized as the voice of the collective body.
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