FLASHBACK: Questlove on Trayvon Martin

on Friday, Dec. 27th

With the TurnStyle staff on holiday break, we polled our newsroom about some of their favorite pieces of the last year.

When I asked the newsroom about the writing and stories they loved from this past year Lissa Soep got in first. One of her picks was a personally essay from Ahmir Thompson, better known as Questlove drummer of The Roots. In the wake of the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin, Questlove wrote this moving piece. Here’s a taste:

I’m in scenarios all the time in which primitive, exotic-looking me — six-foot-two, 300 pounds, uncivilized Afro, for starters — finds himself in places where people who look like me aren’t normally found. I mean, what can I do? I have to be somewhere on Earth, correct? In the beginning — let’s say 2002, when the gates of “Hey, Ahmir, would you like to come to [swanky elitist place]?” opened — I’d say “no,” mostly because it’s been hammered in my DNA to not “rock the boat,” which means not making “certain people” feel uncomfortable.

I mean, that is a crazy way to live. Seriously, imagine a life in which you think of other people’s safety and comfort first, before your own. You’re programmed and taught that from the gate. It’s like the opposite of entitlement.

Read the whole thing at New York magazine.

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