Henry Ossawa Tanneran, an African-American artist, painted The Annunciation in 1898
“What kind of body and performance can adequately represent “fear” in the US judicial system, or in our communities? And why is the proof of fear necessary to assert one’s right to defend one’s life? Racial justice, feminist anti-violence, and anti-prison/policing movements must take the implications of this ruling seriously in order to make their work more relevant to black women’s lives.” -From The Feminist Wire
I remember hearing once that the phrase “Fear not” is found hundreds of time in the Bible. Fear was clearly pervasive in that culture and time period – an oppressive government, economic disparities, and abuse from religious leaders – and then, Jesus comes along. Jesus, with his radical ideas about God’s kingdom and loving enemies, and all those wonderful miracles, Jesus, and his offering the possibility of change in their context, of course, of course, there would be some trepidation. How can we stand up to the powers over us? How can we affect change to our circumstances? How can we make a difference?
What do those words sound like to women who are victimized day in and day out? To children who live in terror each day with the status quo of bombs and explosions around them? To children who risked life and death to find help only to be put in cages and returned to the life they tried to escape in the first place – a life of violence and desperation?
The only way I can make sense of those words is the thought of Jesus speaking us into that darkness. We’re the embodiment of those words, “Fear not.”
There’s enough out there on Marissa Alexander. I simply want to voice my support, and encourage others to join in the effort to free Marissa. Below is a letter that she wrote to her supporters. And at the bottom are ways that we can contribute directly, and ways that I want to personally. Everything makes a difference. Two little words can make the biggest impact.
To My Supporters here in Jacksonville, all over the United States and the world,
I am very grateful for all that everyone has done and is doing in support of the situation that I am going through. Every time I encounter someone they always express their concerns and tell me they are praying for me and my family. I know that it is only by God’s power who gives me the strength to endure this journey and still be able to radiate his light from on the inside and on the outside. It will be four years to the date on August 1 when this journey began. This is the day that I found myself faced with a life or death decision. I thank God for his mercy and direction on that day. I am trusting God for the victory. He has brought me through this ordeal. As I look back I am thankful for how the Lord has kept me. I am trusting God’s wisdom and looking forward to meeting all of you face to face soon.
No weapon formed against me will prosper.
Sincerely, Marissa Alexander
- Write to Marissa to tell her don’t give up and we are pulling for her! Her address is: Marissa Alexander, P. O. Box 23872, Jacksonville, FL 32257.
- #SelfiesForSelfDefense by posting a photo of yourself with a sign expressing support for Marissa.
- Donate to the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund, which is especially important since she’ll probably accrue more legal fees on the way to her Dec 8th trial. DONATE HERE! And shop at the Free Marissa store! There are lots of great things to purchase such as buttons, stickers, magnets, and other art, and all proceeds go to the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund.
For more information check out the Free Marissa Now website.