The Time Is Now!!!
To the Sisters of Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship, Inc.,
Swing Phi Swing S.F.I was birthed out of a social movement and is committed to affecting social change. As Members of Swing Phi Swing we have pledged to dedicate our time, energy and virtue to enriching the quality of life in our respective communities. In 1969, SWING not only supported civil rights activities but avidly participated in the movement. Sisters of this organization have always understood cultural consciousness and have stood up and spoke out against social injustice. As a collective we have never had to stand alone because sisterhood is what we are about. While others may not want to speak out openly about the multitude of recorded and unrecorded acts of violence, by those in authority, Swing Phi Swing will continue to lift our voices for those silenced or muted.
We are a vibrant group of women with extraordinary strength, courage, innovation, and spirit. Across the nation we may be small in numbers but we are large in spirit and it is the spirit of heroism that runs through the bodies of our members. It is the voices of our ancestors which whisper to us to stand strong against inequality because “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." It is the blood of our slain youth which shows us this new movement has just begun.
To say that we are appalled by the current and past acts of social injustice and any judicial process which supports abusive authority would be an understatement. When a system is so damaged, the social contract has been forfeited, completely rewritten, and is now illegible, we are more than appalled. We speak the names of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, Renisha McBride and the countless, voiceless souls who share our ancestor’s blood and who have been silenced by brutality, oppression, and enslavement.
To say that we are frustrated with a system that supports and continually encourages acts of violence against its citizens would be an understatement. Nearly 46 years has passed since one of the most eloquent and prolific civil rights leaders and we still have the need to march for justice, lie down in the street for solidarity, and bury our children with dignity after their lives were taken suddenly, brutally, and without reasonable cause. When innocent unarmed citizens are being murdered by those who are paid to protect and serve and we are told we should blindly trust this system to provide justice equitably, we are more than frustrated.
Yes, all lives matter but, OUR lives matter! We are not merely separate races of people and until we can begin to see and appreciate the humanity in each individual life, then there is no humanity, there is no unity, there is no justice, and there can be no peace.
Hands up! Don’t shoot - didn’t work.
Using your last breath to say you can’t breathe - didn’t work.
Videotaped recordings of injustices won’t work unless we demand that any fractured system be mended.
We are encouraging you to do what you feel comfortable enough to do. Whether it is a sit-in or a die-in, whether you are standing, marching or running, do something. And do so with your head, fist, and voices raised high! Do so standing with those beside you that believe in equality and justice for ALL!
Swing never condones or encourages any activity which breaks the law or causes harm, displays vandalism, or violence towards another person or their property.
We love each of our sisters dearly and would never want anything to happen to any of you or your families. Be safe, stay armed with your “shield,” and lift up the Swing Phi banner.
Dr. Leone R. Lettsome
Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship, Inc.®