Konch Magazine - Emotional Justice by Esther Armah

Emotional Justice by Esther Armah


·       12 Years A Slave. Saw it on Day 26 of a campaign about pursuing the freedom of a black woman. Sat. Long after credits rolled. Still seated. Shook. To my bones. Raw. Tears, terror, trauma. Enraged. Exhausted. Still seeing Patsy, Solomon, Alonzo. Still hearing women singing over buried bodies. Violence has a rhythm, brutality has an appetite. There is a power to which humanness is alien - only want & greed persists. To be told your stolen children will soon be forgotten - casual cancer of bodies as property. Trauma is our collective friend, a constant companion. Got to the ladies room. Just. Still raw. Somebody called my name. Didn't recognize the sister. I know we hugged. She had just seen it too. We both cried more. Deep breaths. And held on to each other. To my right, two white women: "That film made us look evil." Because some of you were. It is 2 days later. I can still see the expression in Patsy's eyes, the welts on her back, that scene when bodies are becoming bounty and being bought and sold and Solomon is told to play his fiddle to drown the screams of a mother and her babies. How do you hold on to yourself when flesh & spirit is being ripped daily and nightly? Living legacies of untreated trauma, hurt, hate, horror. Standing evidence of a power that is languageless. Have you seen it? How did you feel after you saw the film?