black mothers standing in the gap1

From L-R, the mothers are: Tritobia Ford (Ezell Ford), Lesley McSpadden (Michael Brown), Sabrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin), Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Sandra Thomas (Alesia Thomas) and Gwen Carr (Eric Garner)

*Our nations first President George Washington was nicknamed “The Great Unifier.”

That same moniker can also be applied to the Honorable Maxine Waters (U.S. Representive, Los Angeles).

From her early days in the California State Assembly, to her rise to the U.S. Congress, she has worked tirelessly to bring folks from all spectrums of life in her fight for justice, and fairness for African Americans in particular, and all people in general.

And in her position as a founding member of the Black Women’s Forum she has been able to unify, and honor the women in our community who rightfully deserve to be saluted for their courage, and relentless fight for justice.

In the wake of the recent killings of innocent unarmed young people that have occurred throughout this country at the hands of the police, the mothers of these children are seeking answers that can soothe their pain in their loss, and above all, they are seeking justice.
So this past weekend Congresswoman Waters and the Black Women’s Forum held an event at the Westin Hotel near LAX to honor Sabrina Fulton ( mother of Trayvon Martin), Lesley McSpadden (mother of Michael Brown), Tritobia Ford ( mother of Ezell Ford), Gwen Carr ( mother of Eric Garner), and Samaria Rice ( mother of Tamir Rice) whose children were all killed at the hands of the police.

These women came from different parts of this country which made this a most significant event as they were able to each tell in their own words to a captive audience what it felt like to lose a love one so unjustly.

Folks, this was an event that was attended by a near capacity crowd of over one thousand, and at times became very emotional listening to each story of what it felt like to lose a love one to police violence.
As a correspondent covering this story I even found myself at one point getting emotional ( I just couldn’t help myself folks).
Lesley McSpadden said it best, ” I’ve known my son for 18 years, so I don’t need to know the story. This isn’t new, but it’s new to me. I’m still searching for the answers. My son was murdered.”

Gwen Carr the mother of Eric Garner was quoted, “These are faceless individuals. We want all the mothers out there to know that we stand for them.”

black mothers standing in the gap

Maxine Waters, Leslie McSpadden, Gwen Carr, Attorney Benjamin Crump, Sabrina Fulton, Tritobia Ford, Sandra Thomas

Sabrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mother) quoted, “We are also U.S. citizens, and we need to support those who support us.”

The police have been killing unarmed black people since the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted some 150 years ago, and things haven’t changed yet.

As a former member of the Southern Calif. Chapter of the Black Panther Party, this writer knows first hand what the police will do if they can get away with it.

I can recall a young man by the name of Jerry Lee Amie who was gunned down during the summer of 1969 by the L.A.County Sheriff. He was shot and killed by deputies some 32 times because they thought he was holding a gun as he stood on his own front yard. It turned out that he had a clear plastic toy water pistol. His family never recieved the justice they deserved in that case. It was ultimately ruled a justifiable homicide by the D.A.

This event was called “Standing In The Gap” and at the end of it each one of these courageous mothers were given 2000.00 by Congresswoman Waters as a token of her appreciation, and a beautiful rendition of a song of that same name was performed by the lovely Angie Fisher that brought the house down.

Our hats go off to “The Great Unifier” Maxine Waters for being able to bring folks together from all parts of this country, and to continue the fight for freedom and justice for all Americans.

What a fete to be able to bring these women together!

Mohammed Mubarak

Mohammed Mubarak

Southern California based Mohammed Mubarak, a portrait artist as well, can be contacted at [email protected] for your comments.