BOOK INTRODUCTION BY AUTHOR DEBBIE MILLER
The #IHAVENOWORDS project was born out of my commitment to be a part of the call to action for change.Action the would bring about lasting change.
I needed to harness and channel the rage, anger, disgust and profound sadness that I was feeling as a result of the unjustified killing of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020 by a Minneapolis police officer.
As a black woman, mother, daughter, sister, wife and police officer, I could no longer remain silent. I needed to stand up and be a part of this call to action to acknowledge that “black” people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day.
I began to have deep conversations particularly with black men in the community, black police officers and mothers of black sons. During these conversations, I asked them to share their thoughts and experience on cue cards. I sought their permission to photograph them as we spoke. The conversations were deeply emotional and introspective.
This collection of emotionally charged conversations allowed me to understand their feelings and capture images of the acute pain, suffering and profound sadness and frustrations that has beset our community.
In this tapestry of photographs and community quotes, this book offers a view into the impact of intergenerational racism on black families and gives voice to their cry “… I can’t breathe…”. It is also a call to have courage-a call to pursue this shared path of resistance; a call to do the hard work to build a more equal, equitable and inclusive society.
Black people continue to be impacted by systemic racism. As a society, we need to stand together to ignite a movement against racism and discrimination. This requires all of us to continue to listen, learn and act to invoke real change.