As the Black Lives Matter movement coalesces on social media and around the globe—ESSENCE invited activists, authors, thought leaders and cultural figures to reflect on the meaning of this moment, and what we must do next.

Common
Feb, 04, 2015

As a Black person growing up in America, it took some time for me to find out who I was and who we are as a people. Within that discovery I learned that we are people of love, of greatness, of life, of forgiveness, of strength and of victory. I understand that through these most difficult times we are experiencing now, we are the instruments for change. Change that will forever better our present and future. Change that begins with us as individuals and translates to our families and spreads to our communities and change that eventually will shape the world. As we take these steps toward justice and equality, let's all remember that it begins with love.

This contribution, along with others exploring the new civil rights movement, appears in ESSENCE's special #BlackLivesMatter issue. This historic collector's edition is available on stands January 9.

 

FOR MORE FROM OUR BLACK LIVES MATTER ISSUE:

The Editor's Letter: The Path Forward
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Angela Davis

Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Patrisse Cullors
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Isabel Wilkerson
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Chirlane McCray
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Sunny Hostin