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you are brave

I am lying face down just a few days ago, on the statehouse grounds, hands behind my back.

Nine minutes.

Sweat is rolling down face. The pressure against my chest is building. It is getting harder to breathe. I am angry, I have been angry. I am sickened, I am solemn.

Nine minutes.

Next to me is a brilliant, sweet 10-year-old girl whom I've met earlier that day. She squirms against the hot pavement. "This is really hard," she says.

"You are brave, you are so brave," is all I can utter. And she is.

You see, she is black. She is more brave than I was at 10 years old, that's for sure.

And she is even more brave than nearly-27-year old me. I will never understand what hurdles she has already faced, and will have to face as she continues to grow up.

We must fix this, America. I have to do the work, you have to do the work. We must take action. We must be brave and stand up for what is right, today, to build a better tomorrow.

Bravery should come into play as she fearlessly pursues her biggest dreams, not when she's fighting for the quality of life she deserves.

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