There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. 

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” 

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Shukri Abdirahman has been outspoken about issues of equality and took part in local Black Lives Matter rallies in 2020. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Shukri Abdirahman is a 21-year-old junior at the University of Maine at Farmington living in Lewiston. Her parents are from Gedo, Somalia, and fled to Kenya after their home was bombed in the early ’90s during the country’s ongoing civil war. Abdirahman spent the first nine years of her life in Dadaab, Kenya’s largest refugee camp, before coming to the United States.

Over the 2020 summer, Abdirahman was active in peaceful Black Lives Matter rallies throughout Maine and organized her first BLM protest in Lewiston. The international and global studies and anthropology student offered her reflections to the Sun Journal on the accompanying segment of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“My name is Shukri Abdirahman. I am an activist, student, poet, educator and most importantly a Muslim Somali Bantu woman. I believe in equality for all! Justice for all! I’m from the biggest refugee camp at the time in Kenya. I came to the United States when I was 9 years old.

“I would like to acknowledge we have come a long way since MLK’s era. A lot has changed, but a lot has also not changed. The extreme practices of racism have somewhat ended, but it has not truly been reformed. I believe this country hides its hatred for African Americans through police violence.

“People or society will often ask this question or make a statement such as ‘We’re equal now and slavery, any form of injustices, have ended a long time ago.’ As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has stated, no matter what era or century we’re in, we can never be satisfied as long as the Black man and woman die unjustly at the hands of police brutality and unspeakable horrors done to African Americans in this country.

“We can never stop until the white world supremacy ends. We can never stop until a Black man or woman can hold a position to be the first to do something and have their race attached to their accomplishments. The fight for justice will never stop until a Black man or woman can freely walk down a street without harassment or simply being killed.

“I personally believe the devotees of civil rights will never truly stop until all people are treated equally. The Black individual has suffered and continues to suffer at the hands of the oppressor and that oppressor is the white man.”

Abdirahman said that she doesn’t want to sugarcoat her opinion of how she views the current socio-political climate. She hopes that by sharing her opinion, people will feel provoked to do their own research about racial disparities so that we can engage in more informed and productive conversations.

— Andrea Swiedom, Franklin Journal

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