From political upheaval to expanding freedom movements, from freeing political prisoners to a pandemic that exposed the institutionalized white supremacy that threatens Black lives from all corners, 2020 has been a year of change, witness, trauma, grief, joy, healing, and reckoning.

There are many stories that made us all sit up in our seats, stare at our phones, protest inside and outside the halls of powers and in streets across the United States and around the world. I present just a few of them here.

As we carry the residual impacts of 2020 into the new year, we do so reflecting on the best pathways to liberation and a way forward that truly forces this nation to be “true to what it said on paper.” James Baldwin’s challenge to white America—and to all those who claim to believe in a slow freedom—remains:

“You always told me it takes time. It’s taken my father’s time, my mother’s time, my uncle’s time, my brothers’ and my sisters’ time. How much time do you want…for your progress?”

2020, freedom, movements
KENOSHA, WI – AUGUST 26: Lasiya Lakes, 4, raises her fist in the air while chanting Black Lives Matter on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a fourth night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23. Video shot of the incident appears to show Blake shot multiple times in the back by Wisconsin police officers while attempting to enter the drivers side of a vehicle. The 29-year-old Blake was undergoing surgery for a severed spinal cord, shattered vertebrae and severe damage to organs, according to the family attorneys in published accounts. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
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