How Eric Martin is Sparking an Abolitionist Revival

Interview by DW McKinney

Eric Martin first captivated my attention four years ago during a youth leader orientation. What I quickly noticed about Eric–besides his undying love for Australia–is that his heart is always geared toward helping people. He is unfaltering when lending a hand or an encouraging word.

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You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.

– 2002 Black History Month theme for the African Student Coalition, Monte Vista High School, when I was Vice President

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A woman from Haiti braided my hair the other day. Her strong cocoa brown fingers locked my hairs together in a tight embrace, while she hummed and sang. I closed my eyes and wondered about far off spaces, places beautiful and lit by the sun. Then she crocheted in caramel-colored twists, luxurious ropes trailing down my face.

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Young, Gifted, and Black

I feel privileged (oh the luxury of that) to know Greg. We first met in July 2010 in Buenos Aires, Argentina at Dra. Lea Geler’s book signing and reading for Andares negros, caminos blancos. The founder and president of el Instituto Argentino para la Igualdad, Diversidad, e Integración (IARPIDI), Nengumbi Celestin Sukama, introduced us but Greg gave a quick “hey” tossed me his number and kept moving. I was taken aback but knowing him now, I know that Greg was motivated and determined to make moves (read: network) as much as possible in that moment.

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Another black man is dead.

Another black man is dead. My fingers are poised to write something. Anything. People need to hear. People need to know. But I can’t type. My hands are shaking and my head hurts. I have to leave my office to get some air.

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