(The grainy things are the little spots on my hand from spending too much time in the sun lately).
The past week was definitely a challenge. We’ve been lucky to find volunteer drivers, food, water, and shelter throughout this walk, but I have to say that Tuesday March 20, 2012 wasn’t easy. We walked about 21 miles in 89° F weather on rocks. After about the 16th mile every step felt like a sting up and down my legs.
So far, I’ve thrown up twice during this walk and I now have little dots on my arms and a few on my legs. Because of random motion sickness, I’ve been avoiding dairy and eating small portions of food for breakfast and lunch. Truly, the strength to keep going comes from somewhere else. Although I took care before this walk to try to exercise and eat right, even that isn’t enough preparation to finish. I just have to find it in myself to put one foot in front of the other sometimes, and remember that in the past, others had to do the same.
Right now I can’t stop thinking about Trayvon Martin and Shaima Al Awadi. These tragic deaths are the very reason why we walk. As we down Highway 51 South, we hear stories about people who were involved in the Civil Rights movement. We walk through places in which people have died, been shot, or attacked because they demanded their rights. Perhaps people were once lynched on a tree we may have walked by. Trayvon Martin and Shaima Al Awadi’s deaths are no different than any lynchings of the past. As the Walk Against Fear, we pay respect to the martyrs of the past and recognize that there are martyrs right now
We saw the James Meredith monument on campus, and it made me realize how much we as a society have to go in order to eradicate racism. Kimbrely Dandridge is the first African-American female student body president in fifty years. This coincides with the anniversary of Mr. Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi. James Meredith was very happy to talk to her over the phone, but still young African-American men are dying because of their skin color and innocent Muslim mothers are dying because they wear a hijab. I hope that the Al Awadi and Martin families find justice for these deaths. This very hope helps me keep going even after getting bitten by ants on the road, throwing up from motion sickness, or when my legs are too sore. My body wants stop walking, but it can’t.