From our grief and rage, there are only two options: action or despair

Adrienne Davis headshotAdrienne Davis, Vice Provost and William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law


Sixty-five years after Emmett Till’s torture and murder, we are in yet another long summer of black death. I cannot say when it started, exactly, because black death in the United States never really ends. It more sort of rolls into hills and valleys and the hills are so high that the valleys begin to appear to be the norm.

In this last three months, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have beheld almost every iteration of black death. We have seen the murderous racial neglect of health care systems; the disposability of so-called essential workers, disproportionately black; the emergence of racial comorbidities into the nation’s lingua franca. We also have seen the black death of our continued commitment to racial violence.

What would it mean for this season, for this unbearably blistering hot season of black death to end? It will only change because we decide that it is undemocratic. Un-American.

Read the full piece in the St. Louis American.

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