Why Black Lives Matter (Too)

why-blm2-cover-image  The Black Lives Matter movement evolved as a protest against police brutality against unarmed black men. This book extends beyond police brutality to revolutionize the national conversation about racial injustice and inequality and advocate for freedom and justice for all black Americans. We are the voices for equality. Recognizing that the fight for social justice and equality is bigger than any one person and that there is room for diverse talents and expertise of anyone who is committed to freedom, this multi-contributor anthology addresses a range of hot-button issues and racial disparities that disproportionately impact the black community. This is a call to action that will challenge you to confront your long-held values and beliefs about black lives and confront your own white privilege and fragility as you examine racial justice and equality in a revolutionary way.

All proceeds benefit The Sentencing Project, a non-profit organization advocating for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system.

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Connecting through Authenticity

Today, I’m feeling blessed to have the opportunity to observe and participate in the crisis points of my clients’ lives. As a student of human suffering, I’ve learned the many ways in which we cope with and rise above the dark moments of our existence. I’ve also learned that when we reach the end of life, it’s not the superficial occurrences that will give us depth and meaning, but having embraced the core of our being and crushed and dismantled those strongholds that threatened to destroy us.

When I meet you, I don’t care about your title, alma mater, profession, socioeconomic status, or list of contacts. I don’t care about your race, ethnicity, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or religion. I don’t care whether you’re short or tall, thick or thin. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, identify with any other political party, or even if you vote at all. What I do care and feel most compassionate about is YOU – a living, breathing, imperfect, and unique human being with unlimited potential. So tell me about the aspects of your life that really matter.

Tell me why you believe what you believe, behave as you behave, and do the things that you do. Tell me about your dreams, visions, and passions. Tell me about your fears, frustrations, and failures. Tell me what motivates you to get up, brush yourself off, and try again after you’ve suffered a mighty blow. Tell me what makes you laugh and what reduces you to tears. Tell me what keeps you up thinking late at night. Tell me what you’re tolerating, and haven’t yet mustered the courage to release. Tell me what keeps you going when the chips are down and you’re feeling all alone. Tell me what you’ve read that changed your life or provoked you to think differently.

Tell me how you’ve challenged your assumptions to draw more informed conclusions. Tell me who you love, who loves you back, and what that genuine love feels like. Tell me about a time when you were ready to give up, but someone cared enough to invest in you. Tell me what you’ve learned about yourself as you travel this journey called life. Tell me what excites and gives you hope for a better and brighter tomorrow. Finally, tell me what you’ve done or what you’re doing to help win a victory for humanity.

Living from within is what makes us human, nurtures our soul, and strengthens our purpose. It’s only when you and I have connected at this level of authenticity that we will have something meaningful to talk about.

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Zondria Merrill I can totally relate to this 💗
Paula Miller
Paula Miller This. Right here. Is off the chain.
Kesha Pepin
Kesha Pepin I have survived things many folks never experience. I did not allow them to make me hard. I do struggle to show my vulnerabilities, but I’m sincerely moved when someone genuinely wants to know. You are changing the world, Mary Ann Canty Merrill. I appreciate your guidance as I challenge all my remaining assumptions.
JL Bryant
JL Bryant Well said. Amen.
Jaz Kins
Jaz Kins You give me so much hope.
Kay Shatzer-Kerr Raypholtz
Kay Shatzer-Kerr Raypholtz Love this. I work as a counselor/family counselor in a correctional facility. People tell me that they couldn’t do what I do, and that’s okay. They weren’t called. I hear the most terrible things, but I count it as an honor that they trust me enough toSee More
Karl Bertelsen replied · 2 Replies
Tahesha Knapp Christensen
Tahesha Knapp Christensen Beautiful words from someone who deeply cares. Thank you.
Teresa Chase
Teresa Chase Beautiful.❤️
Andrea Ruehrwein Raynor
Andrea Ruehrwein Raynor Wow. Thank you Mary! So beautifully said from your beautiful heart. Sitting with your words and bowing to the wisdom.
Katherine Moss
Katherine Moss You are a very inspiring person.
Sandy Grunden Holland
Sandy Grunden Holland If we all could take this approach toward each other what a wonderful world it would be.
Maybe because of my personal life experiences I approach everyone with this attitude…
I have no right to judge or condemn someone I know nothing about.See More
Jacki Chuculate
Jacki Chuculate Ohhhh this… for activists and marginalized.. with a crowdfunding for access….
Stacy Olum M
Stacy Olum M Invaluable piece!
Kerry Bray
Kerry Bray Amen 🙏💗
Mary Ann Canty Merrill
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Call for Submissions

********** WHY BLACK LIVES MATTER (TOO): YOUTHSPEAK **********

I am pleased to announce my next collaborative book project, “Why Black Lives Matter (Too): YouthSpeak” and invite young people—ages 13-28—to put your skills to work and engage creative expression as you advocate for racial justice and equality.

Book contributions can be submitted in the form of original writing (personal or narrative essay or poetry) or original artwork. This is an opportunity to articulate why Black lives matter in your own voice, influence future generations, and publish in the process.

If you are a youth—or an adult who has youth in your sphere of influence— who would like to participate in this project, please contact me immediately via e-mail at mcanty@merrillca.com for additional information. Meanwhile, feel free to share with your networks.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS FEBRUARY 24, 2017.