Every time a video of police violence against black citizens is posted on the internet, we are confronted with a choice: to watch or not to watch. In a recent essay published on this website, activist-scholar Alexandra Juhasz considers her own decision not to watch what she calls “viral black death.” While I respect her instinct to avoid numbness and the overwhelming despair triggered by this violence, as an attorney, African American historian, and scholar of black masculinity, I believe that we have a responsibility to #staywoke and look. We should acknowledge and absorb the pain captured in the videos, just as antiracist activists bore witness in the past to gruesome photographs of lynchings...Continue Reading
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