Hope Dies Last: A Word on Kelly Gissendaner

On this day, September 21, 2011, I wrote an Open Letter to the State of Georgia about the state-authorized death of one of their sons, Troy Davis.

The blog went viral in a matter of 24 hours, finding its way on a host of news sites and it would be the first time that I would enter into public discourse about social justice and the death penalty.

Four years later, I’d find myself penning yet another article about a daughter of the State of Georgia, Kelly Gissendaner, a woman whose original execution was stayed because the drugs the State planned to use to kill her were cloudy and not fit for use. Recently, we learned that Kelly would be executed by the State of Georgia on the 29th of this month, after six long months of appeals and public outcry for her stay of execution. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Governor Nathan Deal

Dear Governor Nathan Deal,

I know, I know. You’re under the Gold Dome wheelin’ and dealin’ (pun intended) over some of our most vulnerable citizens including the elderly, the sick, and the undereducated. You’re busy doing very important work! I just wanted to drop you a line about some things that, as a life-long citizen of Georgia, bothers me. I found it ironic that you spent the weekend lining your belly with pork at the annual “wild hog supper” just a day before beginning conversations about how laws and bloated bills will impact the wellbeing of our state. I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere but for the sake of time, I’ll narrow the focus of this letter so you can get back to work. Continue reading

An Open Letter to the State of Georgia

Dear Georgia,

Today, many of your sons and daughters mourn for you.

Since the inception of your statehood in 1732, you’ve always seem to lag behind.

You were the last to establish yourself as the original 13 Colonies. You were also the last state to restore yourself back to the union in 1870.

You’ve spent many years sweeping your darkest hours under rugs. The Atlanta Race Riots of 1906 are hardly in your history books.

Your capital city of Atlanta has brought some redeeming qualities to you. She was a central point for civil and social movements throughout the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and in her younger years, was considered the “golden city” of the South.

W.E.B. DuBois spoke of her greatness in his book The Souls of Black Folk. In chapter five of the book, “Of the Wings of Atalanta”, he personified you as the “Queen of cotton”, “Gateway to the Land of Sun”, and a city crowned with a “hundred hills” with its high chimneys and progressive ways. It reigned regally among its sister cities as a place of promise. Continue reading