Elijah McClain was a 23 year old massage therapist. Everything I have read about him screams gentle. On his lunch break he would play the violin for the kittens in the pet shop next door. He ran in barefoot running shoes because he felt it was more natural. Many of the runners I’ve spoken with in the past have voiced similar things. He was anemic and could be found even in the summer time wear layers of clothes and a runners mask due to being cold. That I can also find true because I have a son that’s anemic. He taught himself how to play the guitar and violin. HE TAUGHT HIMSELF! So what could he have done that would’ve been so wrong to cause him death?
Summary of what I’ve read about his death…
Police received a call about a person acting suspicious flailing their arms and wearing a ski mask. The caller also reported that he didn’t appear to be a threat and did seem to have a weapon. So basically an unnecessary welfare check? How did that in turn lead to his death?
When officers arrived, orders to stop were not responded to. Why was that? Because he was wearing headphones! He couldn’t possibly comply if he did not hear the orders. Once he did notice and proceeded to turn down his music to hear, it was too late. The feeling of “disrespect” had already been planted. Now a need for authority had to be shown.
For 15 MINUTES the officers had him in a hold that applied pressure to his carotid artery. For 15 MINUTES he begged, pleaded, and even complimented the officers. All to no avail. They still applied pressure to the point he began to vomit. Then EMT’s gave him a shot of ketamine (sedative) because he was determined to be “agitated”. Who wouldn’t be? Then to make matters worse, the dose he was given was for a 220 LB. man. Elijah weighed 140 lbs. This lead to him going into cardiac arrest not once, but twice before later being declared brain dead.
I am sadden, I am heartbroken, and I have shed tears for this young man that did not deserve what has happened to him. I’ve seen pictures and watched the video where he was filled with happiness while indeed wearing layers of clothing as friends and family described. I also can’t help but to wonder again, how many others we still have not heard about. Especially when Elijahs life was taken almost a year ago and we are just now hearing about it. WE NEED JUSTICE FOR ELIJAH NOW!
The people lingered on the plantation unsure of what the day would bring. Many fidgeted with uneasiness and others were planning on the best way to escape should the day bring about terror as done before. They had been told early that morning that there would be an announcement come noon.
Neva, a young slave girl, stood holding her daughter close to her body. Her skin was the color of dark chocolate, her body was short and petite, she had a long braid going down the center of her back, and dark eyes filled with strength. She prayed that this would not be the last day she would see her daughter. Each day they had together was a blessing from the universe. Many of her children were sold long ago. If the day should be their last, she had prepared her well to survive, but that would not ease the hurt.
“What’s happening, Mama,” her daughter Betty asked, looking just like a mini version of her.
Just then, a man rode up on a horse bringing many others with him. The slave master stood on the porch with his wife, both faces were twisted in anger.
The man got off his horse and looked at all of the people. It was a shame that even after being free for over two years, these were the last to find out. It was terrible how that information was withheld from them. Some say the messenger was killed and others say it was done deliberately to get another crop of cotton. Either way it was just plain wrong.
“I come with news from General Granger,” he spoke loud enough for them to hear.
Murmurs could be heard throughout the crowd. What could he possibly have for them to hear?
“As per General Order 3, The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.” He began to read off the paper.
Gasps could be heard throughout the crowd. Many cried, many shouted, and many stood in disbelief. Their dreams and prayers had finally been answered.
“What’s going on mama,” Betty asked her mother.
“We’re free baby,” she lifted her up as much as she could with tears falling down her face.
People started rushing off to get their belongings. Many unsure of where they would go next, but knew the plantation life was not for them.
“Where are you going,” the slave master yelled, “There’s nothing out there for you people!”
“That may be, but there’s nothing here for us either,” a man named William yelled before walking off with the others. He was a large muscular man with skin the color of molasses.
As Neva and Betty gathered their belongings, they heard music playing. Stopping to look outside of their shack they saw people gathering around in celebration. Food was being brought out of houses and combined to make a big spread for everyone.
“Can we join them mama,” Betty looked up with hopeful eyes.
“Of course, they’ll always be our family,” Neva smiled down with tears still in her eyes.
They both ran out and joined in the laughter and dancing.
Soon Neva felt strong arms around her. Turning she saw William with that smile she had come to love. They had been quietly seeing each other for quite some time now and shared many meals together as a family.
“We’re free now baby, you know what that means,” he asked.
With her words lost, she merely shook her head.
“Today we finally get married and then me, you, and my new daughter is headed north to start our new lives.”
And get married they did, surrounded by all of their newly freed brothers and sisters.
When it was time to leave, William stood embracing Neva and Betty.
“We’re finally free,” she whispered.
“So we don’t have to live here anymore,” Betty asked fearfully.
“No baby, we’re free,”William lifted her up and tickled her, “but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
With one last look, they then joined the others walking up the road to a new freeish way of living.
This short contains the exact beginning of General Order 3 that was instructed to be read announcing the end of slavery in Texas. Also, the names listed in this short, Neva, Betty, and William are all relatives of mine. My grandparents and mother. Although they were not actually there I thought it would be cool to incorporate their names in the story. Let me know in the comments what you think and if it interests you enough to want to see more shorts like this on here. Thank you for reading!
I’ve always thought that I did well with self care. This past week helped me realize that I didn’t. Over the process of dealing with everyday life, I stopped meditating, stopped listening to my relaxing music, stopped my yoga journey, and just completely forgot about myself. So, as I stated in a previous post, all of this over time has led to high blood pressure, anxiety, lack of energy, and although I post a lot; a struggle with writing. Not to mention everything going on in the world with my brothers and sisters is heartbreaking .
I battle with myself about what things I should blog about. I know that if I tackle certain topics right now my anger may overshadow my writing. I don’t want to disrupt the message. In some ways I feel as if I’m giving in to certain people by not releasing my anger. Sometimes that’s needed to be seen, but in order to do that I also need balance. This is where self care comes in. It helps me to clear my mind.
With that being said, I’m taking a self care week. A week to get back to me. I’m hoping by the end of the week I’ll be able to get back in the saddle and be ready to unleash a number of topics on the world in an unfiltered way that I like. I also want to release more creative writing through the form of poems, short stories, and whatever else pops up in this crazy mind of mine.
In my quest for relaxation I have a number of things planned:
1. SLEEP (I have crazy insomnia)
3. Work in my garden. Y’all my garden is still struggling. So much for having a garden like my grandmother’s lol.
4. Spend time with my children.
5. Have a date night with my husband. Pray for me. There is a certain princess that feels she must be included when it comes to her father <inserts eye roll>.
6. Catch up on some reading.
As with everything, plans are subject to change. If that happens then so be it, but I’m going in with a plan. Wish me luck!