In the year 2014 Americans were forced, once again, to come face-to-face with the raw fact that African Americans, especially, African American males, remained disposable. In December 2014 after it was announced that the grand jury would not indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner, the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund posted tweets naming 76 men and women of color who were killed in police custody since 1999. This is only the reported cases of deaths from the hands of those paid to “serve and protect” not some but all citizens.

  But the feeling that Black lives don’t matter in America goes back to, yes, I know we don’t like to talk about it but, it all starts with the enslavement of a people. According to some encyclopedia books the total slave population before abolition in the South was about four million people of African descent. A black slave’s life only mattered in the sense of his monetary value to be sold as a piece of property and his worth as a laborer.
  After the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation “freed” the slaves and to some their “personal property” another form of keeping the African American, especially the African American male “in his place” was the practice of lynching which took place in the Southern US from 1890 to the 1920s, and continued well into the 1960s. Black lives didn’t matter then as their bodies were hung in trees to swing, some with their genitals cut off and stuffed in their mouths, others burned as they choked to death, all waiting for their family members to have the courage to come out from hiding in fear to cut their destroyed bodies down and give them a decent burial.
  Today, the gun is the weapon of choice to kill the Black male and the family members of these African American males still have to come out from hiding in fear. They don’t have to come out from the woods and trees to claim their loved ones bodies.
  Now they walk from their homes to the middle of the streets. Standing behind the yellow tape, watching until they are given permission to go to their loved one and cover him up if laid open to the public to glance at, as Michael Brown's family wanted to do, or to the morgue to claim the body and identify it as the person they loved and cared for in life and now grieve for in death.
  The question is, when will Black lives matter in the United States in general? When will African Americans have a grand jury system that believes that Black lives matter? Until African Americans have a justice system in the United States that believes that their lives matter, they will continue to be killed by Americans who have sworn to serve and protect them and assist them with justice “for all.”