Troy Davis lifted his head one final time and declared, "I am innocent." He then received the lethal injection. His final breath taken on Sept. 21st at 11:08 p.m.

Davis’ controversial 22 year fight to clear his name of a murder he may or may not have committed, came to a somber and chilling end.

By now you'’ve heard the story; nine witnesses placed Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter. Since then 7 of the 9 witnesses have retracted their testimonies, claiming coercion by the officers on the case. Other witnesses have said that another man (one of the only two witnesses to not retract testimony) was with Davis during the night of the shooting and told people that he was the actual shooter.

It gained national attention, as his supporters poured in letters. Over 630,000 delivered to the board to stay the execution and the list of people asking clemency.A group of over 700 protested outside the supreme courtroom doors the day of his execution.

Too often we find ourselves on the wrong side of justice. Made to stomach harsh conditions that in turn become our unfair reality. When will we say enough is enough? How many more Troy Davis' must be unjustly murdered?

The solutions to these injustices are simple. We, as a race, must make room for ourselves at the negotiating tables and boardrooms where decisions are being made. Politicians, judges, lawyers and socially consious black citizens are needed.

The results we desire do not fall on the shoulders of one man in office but all of us. We can no longer accept the “politics as usual” gambit because the usual politics have killed us and deprived our communities for countless generations.The end of our demise is through success and continuous progress within our community.

Until we gain representation in positions of authority, we will continue to be handed down unjust decisions and told justice has been served.

It is necessary more now than ever that we become the impactful change that our race needs and desires. Call it a modern day lynching if you so please, but it helps us none to allow the rope to be knotted around our necks. Unless we take ownership of our fate and strive to achieve the goal of black excellence, we might as well invest in a good pair of Asics or New Balances, because we'’ll be doing a lot more walks in protest.

- Kwame Belle

"Murder to Excellence"

troy davis

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