Philando Castile died one mile away from my childhood home in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. In this piece for Off the Page, I wrote about a prayer vigil and march to the site where he was shot.
It starts like this:
This isn’t my first march.
Growing up, my dad would bundle my sister and I up in our puffiest coats, wrapping warm scarves around our necks and packing extra mittens in his black patched backpack alongside a few cheese sandwiches and a thermos of coffee. The third weekend in January often coincided with below zero temperatures in St. Paul, but it was important to my dad to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. march and we were Minnesotans after all, so we went out in the cold and bore it because that is what hardy northern people do. The brilliant blues of the January sky would set the white snow twinkling like a thousand diamonds and our breath would puff out like white clouds and, sure, my sister and I would complain for a bit but then we’d go quiet as we watched the marchers all around us, moving so strong and steady, singing old spirituals and freedom songs. People would carry signs and someone would keep rhythm on a drum and my dad, sister and I would fall into step behind the long, snaking line, like a river whose current pulled us along.
Read the rest here.