Thank goodness! We did not dare to allow ourselves to hope that the verdict would have been guilty. There are vanishingly few precedents where officers are found guilty of murder for deaths that occur while a person is in police custody. We are overjoyed that a jury of twelve pronounced that George Floyd’s life mattered enough for his killer to pay a price for murder.
We believe this verdict, and maybe even this trial, could not have happened without the concerted effort of hundreds of thousands of people marching, protesting, speaking out, blogging, and educating themselves and others about the many ways racism functions in our society. We draw a direct line from Ida B. Wells, activist, journalist and truth-teller, to the activists of today who put themselves in harm’s way to bear witness and spread the news about injustices happening all over our nation. We thank you for your tenacity and courage.
We remember all those who have gone before who never received justice: Amadou Diallo, Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Tamir Rice. We call for justice for Adam Toledo, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor, among others. We call the names of Black people victimized by police and by private citizens because Black people are victimized by police and by private citizens with no recourse. That must change.
We want to take this moment to recognize a hard-won victory and to acknowledge that we are a long way from finished. Jambo Books will continue to send books into every home that highlight and uplift the humanity of Black children as well as that of all children of color. We will also continue to encourage publishers to put action behind the statements they made last year supporting justice and increased diversity among authors, illustrators and agents.
Thank you to each of you for the work you have done. Let us march on til victory is won.