This polemical essay was written at the behest of Black men and youth, and it is dedicated to African American women who relentlessly fight to safeguard the rights and well-being of Black men, even when in the process their maltreatment and welfare are grossly overlooked and forgotten. Bree Newsome's courageous and necessary removal of the confederate flag in the South Carolina State House is a prime example of such fearless activism. Joanne Deborah Chesimard aka Assata Shakur's-a former leader of the revolutionary organization known as the Black Liberation Armyascendency to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list is another tragically intoxicating example. This commentary is a politically incorrect, unapologetic and passionate harangue from the soul; a painful scream, indictment and warning shot over the bow of our socio-cultural condition and national consciousness. I have tried to make it accessible to readers from Main Street to Wall Street. It is an expression of progressive Black fury and likewise dedicated to Black victims--dead and alive-of police brutality; those spirits and souls broken by an unrelenting pathology of white supremacist ideology, coercion, and deadly police force. My thoughts are underwritten by the imitable exchange articulated by W.E.B. Dubois in his landmark work, The Souls of Black Folk, "To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word."' This essay is also devoted to the souls of Black parent folk, who are silent victims of police criminality and violent white extremism. The purpose of this essay is to confront the remorseless and pathological killing of Black people, particularly men and youth, by police agencies across the United States. In doing so, it assesses the human rights implications and global responses to anti-Black violence, highlights probable implications of state violence and offers tentative proposals.
Levitt, Jeremy I., ""Fuck Your Breath": Black Men and Youth, State Violence, and Human Rights in the 21st Century" (2015). Journal Publications. 279.