Short Story: Does my Black Life Matter? (4/4)

Continued from part 3

When Latifah heard of another local killing of a Black youth, she, BLM and the NAACP scrambled. The media had claimed Mawuli was a radical Black militant who killed a policeman in the streets; several Black paid witnesses verified the untrue story. The NAACP refused to rally behind Mawuli and BLM nearly did as well, but Latifah had recognized Mawuli from Nora Canton’s memorial and she convinced her chapter to rally anyway; after all white people shot and killed police but were usually taken in alive.

At the memorial, none other than undercover Omowale and his crew showed up. The unknown killer feigned his revolutionary act once more, harrassing the same Reverend, who, as would be revealed in twenty-years, was also on the police payroll. “Sir,” repeated Reverend Hall, “this is a memorial site. Must you make that noise here of all places?”

“We need action, not prayers.” Omowale’s repetition reminded Latifah about his former audacity. She walked over to him. “Peace Sister,” he greeted.

“Come outside, I want to ask you something.” They exited. She continued, “Didn’t you know Mawuli?”

“Only briefly.”

“How briefly?”

“Is this an interrogation? Are you a cop or something?” Omowale ironically asked.

“No,” Latifah said truthfully, “I just figured you’d recognize him. Do you know what group he could have been a part of? The media is saying he was a radical militant. Did he say anything?”

Just then another Sister interrupted. “Omowale there you are!” shouted Ife, dressed entirely in white, the color of grief. She also wore her hair in its natural state. Mawuli had confided a preference to it.

“Peace Sister.”

“Are you here for Mawuli too?”

“Of course.”

“They were calling us radicals,” Ife admitted in earshot of Latifah.

“I doubt they meant us,” Omowale explained. “You know crackers lie.”

“So you don’t think he killed a cop?”

“I don’t know. But if he did it had nothing to do with us.”

“They said the killing happened the same day as the meeting.”

“Let’s talk about this another time. We have a guest. You never know who is a fed.”

“Latifah? She ain’t no police. We’re friends. I’d know if she were police.”

“By the time the fools learn how the game is played; the players have dispersed,” Omowale quipped.

After a brief silence, Ife asked, “What we going to do about this?”

“What we always do.”

“But we can’t let the police take one of ours.”

“Mawuli wasn’t one of ours.”

“Didn’t he return?”


“But he told me he would. He assured me.”

“I didn’t see him. Maybe he was a fake. Without a community, you never know whose who. It’s sometimes the one’s most down for the struggle who are most down with the enemy.”

With that Ife turned away from Omowale. “Maybe,” she cried. She wouldn’t say she loved Mawuli, yet she knew she could have loved him eventually. She felt something was amidst in Omowale’s interpretation of events; she was certain Mawuli headed back to the meeting. Or was Mawuli lying about everything?

Latifah consoled her. She could see Ife had something for Mawuli and she felt Omowale was not saying something, but what was unsaid she would never know in her lifetime. “Do you see what violence does?” She looked intently at Omowale.

“The cracker is violent with us. We’re not the initiators.” Omowale effortlessly continued his charade: easily ranking among other public race traitors like Charles Barron, Al Sharpton, Reverand Daughtry and Jessie Jackson, to name a few.

Latifah told Ife to head inside with her and gave Omowale one last piece of advice, “Just don’t get killed.”

To which Omowale responded, very assuredly, once again, “I’ll kill before that happens.”

So impressed was a young man with Omowale’s demeanor and vision, that he received a card from Omowale with instructions on where to order “a roti with no chickpeas”–at a different address from where Ife worked.

Within a month, that same impressed youth would be in a jail awaiting trial for the attempted murder of a white man. Omowale remains at large.

5 thoughts on “Short Story: Does my Black Life Matter? (4/4)

  1. Lawd have mercy……………………….. wow wow wow wow wow……..


    1. Peace,

      Thank you! I actually wondered if I ended a little too soft–since chapter 3 had the big betrayal. I don’t know. I’ll look for more insight and try to read it again with a more objective lens.

      1. Actually, it ended quite nicely…. It was sort of like an epilogue. That Omowale is a real snake in the grass… And poor Ife doesn’t even know

      2. Peace,

        Asante! Real-life Ife’s never know–or only find out too late. “By the time the fool learns how the game is played, the players have dispersed.” I mentioned Charles Barron as one of those public race traitors, but neither he nor the others are truly as ostracized as race betraying would lead you to believe. Reverend Daughtry for instance has a ‘conscious church’ near a police precinct! Tons of conscious sisters from far and wide join his flock and do work for him–despite his being on the payroll. The same can be said of Charles Barron (a councilman here). One of his assistance is a beautiful Sister in love with our race–but she working for him–and all her potential goes to nothing. Then of course your Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson–we know them for what they are.

        Ife doesn’t know–and may never know. So too do so many Brothers and Sisters who want to act with the Omowale’s but the Omawale’s are acting with the Police.

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