This is Troy Davis. He was charged for the murder or police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989 and executed in 2011. Davis maintained his innocence and gained the support of the public, celebrities and human rights groups.
Ben Jealous: Seeing the new generation come to the movement with Troy Davis, going down to the White House, getting locked up for protest, deciding that this justice system–which has been an injustice system for their generation–they were taking control of so many people in their generation; It was something they were going to take control of.
This year we’re poised to abolish the death penalty for the sixth time in six years in a state and it has really become easier. We may actually abolish it in two states this year. Because of the energy and the power and the consensus that that rising generation of activists created, somebody simply decided to take care and say, “enough is enough, this has got to stop.”
In 2011, Troy Davis’ case was only second to Beyonce’s pregnancy on Twitter as far as things tweeted about year, and I know Beyonce’s pregnancy is a big social issue for a whole lot of brothers, but for a death penalty case to come right after that shows a little shift in the consciousness.
“The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace…” words from Troy Davis’ own lips. With three strikes mounting against him–Black, living in the south and being accused of killing a White police officer–Davis had no way of winning his case. His 20 year conviction gave America time to get to know him and want to fight for him. Although he was ultimately executed, Davis’ life served a purpose to reignite a fire our people haven’t really seen since the Civil Rights era.
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50 Wishes for America from 50 Black Women
1. Deborah Hill
"I wish for a more perfect union." Deborah Hill, age undisclosed
2. Dash Harris
"I wish for America to have never made up the concept of race." Dash Harris, 26
3. Kalieya H
"I wish for the elimination of guns and bullets." Kalieya H., 22
4. Amafra K
"I wish for America to be more international." Amafra K., 30
5. Sadiyya A
"I wish us all peace and respect for each other." Sadiyya A., 58
6. Desiree H
"I wish for free education." Desiree H., 26
7. Sierra K
"I wish for free health care for everyone." Sierra K., 23
8. Tanesha Barnes
"I wish for cultural revolution." Tanesha Barnes, age undisclosed
9. Alana H
"I wish for peace." Alana H., 32
10. Muriel R.
"I wish for things to be better. A lot of people don't have a job right now. So I wish for things to be like they used to be." Muriel R., 39
11. Kaylan C
"I wish for a better education system." Kaylan C., 29
12. Heather D.
"I wish for economic stability." Heather D., 29
13. Monique G
"I wish for free health care!" Monique G., 31
14. Roxanne J.
"My wish is that we find a way to find peace with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and as part of global peace, that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is resolved with each country having sovereign land." Roxanne J., 47
15. Jason-Louise G.
"I wish for an improved political system with more than two parties." Jason-Louise G., 27
16. Chanel C
"I wish for there to be no more hungry people." Chanel C., 26
17. Tracy Hopkins
"I wish that we stop all the violence and stop the mentality of resolving conflict through killing and violence. I wish that we see each other as human beings and have more value for life." Tracy Hopkins, 42
18. Terry Joyner
"I wish for peace, women's rights and diversity." Terry Joyner, 40s
19. Stella A.
"I wish for everyone to love each other." Stella A., 29
20. Mia D.
"I wish that we teach black boys and girls their true history so they can learn to love themselves." Mia D., 24
21. Jacqui Leveine
"My one wish is for us to find a cure for HIV."
22. Courtney M
"I wish for a better economy." Courtney M., 25
23. Ashley G
"I wish for peace." Ashley G., 22
24. Glorya H
"I wish for equality." Glorya H.
25. Michelle Dalmida
"I wish for less animosity and more peace in this country. Just more love and peace." Michelle Dalmida, 19
26. Natasha W.
"I wish us rich." Natasha W., 34
27. Cwen Charlee
"I wish for a America a plus-sized boutique." Cwen Charlee, 33
28. Dorothy Wooten
"I wish that we could stop and find a cure for HIV; empower women and children to protect themselves by using condoms; and stop violence around women being abused." Dorothy Wooten of Iris House, 72
29. Daranice Miguel
"I would like to see the justice system change regarding blacks. Blacks get a lot of time for doing drugs, while they give whites less time for rape. I have sons in jail for 11 years. We get persecuted too hard. I would like to see more jobs available to blacks so the youth don't have to sell drugs. It's like a Catch-22. And they can't vote once they get a felony." Daranice M., 54
30. Bernadette Hamilton
"My wish is that black people really come together and we understand our potential. Somehow with technology, we have lost our way. When something happens in our neighborhood, no one is organizing. We have to know our worth, after all, where does the richest diamond come from?" Bernadette Hamilton, 47
31. Stella Barker
"I wish for the economy to improve and for health care for all." Stella Barker, 33
32. Ginear Campbell
"I wish for an America with a great economy, an America where most others would come to Jesus and have a true appreciation and understanding for what he's done." Ginear Campbell, 31
33. Qubilah Mui
"I wish for Americans to have free health care." Qubilah Mui, 32
34. Tiffany Tate
"I wish for better opportunities for education in urban areas." Tiffany Tate, age undisclosed
35. Michelle Hatchette
"I wish for food and education equity and for justice."
36. Roselind Francis
"I want for America to have healthy food choices for our children. No GMO [genetically modified organisms] in our food." Roselind Francis, 61
37. Nia I'man Smith
"I want for America to stop cutting funding to arts institutions and the arts in schools." Nia I'man Smith, 25
38. Kai Storm
"I wish for more jobs and economic stability." Kai Storm, 40
39. Valencia Good
"I wish for black people to organize and fight police brutality and for parents to focus on what's going on with their kids." Valencia Good, 38
40. Stephanie Ngoziukpere
"I wish for a community amongst black people with one language to connect us." Stephanie Ngoziukpere, 21
41. Melissa Powell
"I wish for more prosperity and more peace for all." Melissa Powell, 30
42. Marissa Mounds
"I wish for the return of strong families." Marissa Mounds, 30
43. Charlotte Newman
"I wish that Americans again feel the sense of unbridled optimism that compelled America to rally around President Kennedy in pursuit of space exploration. And I hope that this renewed optimism is supported by a collective commitment to improving public education and eliminating violence in America's cities." Charlotte Newman, 30
44. Brittani Rettig
"I wish people would care for each other as they would care for themselves." Brittani Rettig
45. Teju Adisa-Farrar
"I wish for increased awareness of social and political issues." Teju Adisa-Farrar, 21
46. Shola Adisa-Farrar
"I wish for increased appreciation for other cultures and lifestyle choices." Shola Adisa-Farrar, 27
47. Torlisa Jeffrey
"I wish for educational opportunities for all, regardless of citizenship or class status." Torlissa Jeffrey, 28
48. Anna Johnson
"I wish Obama for President!!!" Anna Johnson, 32
49. Marrena Edmond
"I wish that each person the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential!" Marrena Edmond, 32
50. Jessica Maina
"I wish for acceptance and diversity." Jessica Maina, 23