Let me preface by saying I live in St. Louis City, where I am a teacher.
Two days ago, the mother of a former student stopped me in the hallway after school and asked me if I knew "so-and-so." Being that my last name is very uncommon, it's not surprising that yes, I know her, she's my aunt. The mother goes on to tell me that she was invited to a facebook event by another school mother for a peace vigil. This was the first I'd heard of it.
Earlier in the week, my aunt had created a facebook event urging people to light candles in their own front yards tonight. That's it. Two days ago, there were a few hundred people "going." Tonight, 13,000 had "joined" the event. Post and pictures from around the country rolled into the facebook event page between 8:30 and 9:30. My aunt was interviewed for St. Louis Public Radio today. The Riverfront Times and the Reddit live feed linked to the facebook page. I sat in my aunt's front yard this evening as the neighbors sat with their candles and walked over to discuss what is happening in Ferguson and throughout the city.
Obviously this is not the ultimate answer. Unless we keep the dialogue open, Saint Louis will return to the status quo and there will be more young black men shot down in the street.
But tonight...my aunt did something pretty cool.
Update: It's 11pm and the posts on the event keep coming.
Here is the facebook event if you want to scroll through the powerful posts and beautiful pictures of St. Louisans hoping: https://www.facebook.com/events/1447455…