A Change in Progress... / by Lia Crawford

Things are changing, there's no doubt about it. In one barrel, we have children being separated from their families, abused and detained, poisoned by their city's water, murdered by police for being black or latinx, murdered by their parents for being themselves. All while there are elected officials playing a sordid game of wack-a-mole with our laws and basic humanity in general.

In another barrel, we have what many of us would consider "positive change." Of course, the same people who moved to rip children from their families and try to justify why the police would kill a kid, probably don't agree. Regardless, we now see more films and writer's rooms centering people of color, more women of color at the top stratospere in corporate businesses, more people of color picking up cameras and daring to share their unique narratives. Since Black Panther, there is no turning back and attempting to claim that there is no audience for black films, that they don't make money and that no one is interested in seeing black women in action films.

As a nation and worldwide community, we changed the narrative. Let's keep going. Ava DuVernay is working on the Central Park Five story. Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler are working on the Mansa Musa story. LeBron James is working on at Showtime docuseries, "Shut up and Dribble." Rebecca Hall, Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga are working on a project called "Passing." They all seem like people with an abundance of wealth and power but they all started without it at some point. You, too, can tell your story. A story you connect with strongly. A story you KNOW needs to be told.

I feel like # (The Pound) is one of those stories. It speaks to the pain drowning citizens of the South and West Sides and how fear from outsiders makes for a more devastating social climate there. Nate's story needs to be heard because he's a human who deserves to be heard. He may be a human Coby and I created, but his voice represents a collection of voices that go ignored regularly. This story shares fear, happiness, anger, determination and feelings of suffocation and isolation. These are feelings many of us walk around with daily.

Our feelings are our barometers, helping us make decisions daily, even if we feel they were horrible decisions later. Our emotions help to write our life stories and they deserve a platform. You have the power to build that platform for yourself and others just as those above have managed to do. You got this. There's more room out than in, they say. Express yourself, by any means necessary.