Last night Baton Rouge’s Eclectic Truth Open Mic and Poetry Slam, Forward Arts, Inc., the Poetry Alliance and the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge held a special reading called Voices for Vic in dedication for Victor White III.
If you are not aware, Victor White of New Iberia, Louisiana, died in police custody. The official report is that Victor, who was handcuffed, shot himself in the back. His autopsy shows he was shot in the chest. Victor was murdered in September 2014 and his family has yet to receive answers or justice for his death.
His father, mother and fourteen year old sister were in attendance. In this age of activism and gross violence against black bodies, it is easy to be involved from a distance. So many of us have the opportunity to tweet a hashtagged name or share a link, but you never think about what happens when you are in the same room with a family who bears the burden daily.
I had the chance to speak with Reverend Victor White II, Victor’s father about love and his love for his son.
Monique: Thank you for speaking with me, I want to ask you, in light of what has happened to your son, what does love mean to you now?
Reverend White: When I think of love, I have always thought of community, I think of family and supporting one another even in a struggle. Stand with one another. Believe and hope, no matter what. When I see that, I understand what l-o-v-e is, all the way. We can get so far with that.
It’s all about brothers and all about sisters, it’s all about being together no matter what.
M: And when you think about your son and the love you have for him, what comes to mind?
RW: I think about his life, when I think of love I think of his life. The life that was taken and the life that he lived. But also, realizing that he lived. You can’t demonize him. And one thing about it is that he was love, he was an example of love. Everywhere he went, he brought love. He brought us love, as a son he brought me love. So when I think about Victor, I understand what love is.