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