The text on the image reads
EMMETT TILL - MEDGAR EVERS - DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR - HENRY SMITH - JOHN CRAWFORD III - MICHAEL BROWN - EZELL FORD - DANTE PARKER - MICHELLE CUSSEAUX - LAQUAN MCDONALD - TANISHA ANDERSON - AKAI GURLEY - TAMIR RICE - RUMAIN BRISBON - JERAME REID - MATTHEW AJIBADE - JAMES N. POWELL JR. - FRANK SMART - NATASHA MCKENNA - TONY ROBINSON - ANTHONY HILL - MYA HALL - PHILLIP WHITE - ERIC HARRIS - WALTER SCOTT - WILLIAM CHAPMAN II - ALEXIA CHRISTIAN - BRENDON GLENN - VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA - JONATHAN SANDERS - FREDDIE CARLOS GRAY JR. - JOSEPH MANN - SALVADO ELLSWOOD - SANDRA BLAND - ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS - DARRIUS STEWART - BILLY RAY DAVIS - SAMUEL DUBOSE - MICHAEL SABBIE - BRIAN KEITH DAY - CHRISTIAN TAYLOR - TROY ROBINSON - ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY - FELIX KUMI - KEITH HARRISON MCLEOD - JUNIOR PROSPER - LAMONTEZ JONES - PATERSON BROWN - DOMINIC HUTCHINSON - ANTHONY ASHFORD - ALONZO SMITH - TYREE CRAWFORD - INDIA KAGER - LA’VANTE BIGGS - MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL - JAMAR CLARK - RICHARD PERKINS - PHILLIP PANNELL - NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT - BENNI LEE TIGNOR - MIGUEL ESPINAL - MICHAEL NOEL - KEVIN MATTHEWS - BETTIE JONES - QUINTONIO LEGRIER - KEITH CHILDRESS JR. - JANET WILSON - RANDY NELSON - ANTRONIE SCOTT - WENDELL CELESTINE - DAVID JOSEPH - CALIN ROQUEMORE - DYZHAWN PERKINS - CHRISTOPHER DAVIS - MARCO LOUD - PETER GAINES - TORREY ROBINSON - DARIUS ROBINSON - KEVIN HICKS - MARY TRUXILLO - DEMARCUS SEMER - AMADOU DIALLO - WILLIE TILLMAN - TERRILL THOMAS - SYLVILLE SMITH - DEMETRIUS DUBOSE - ALTON STERLING - PHILANDO CASTILE - TERENCE CRUTCHER - PAUL O’NEAL - ALTERIA WOODS - BOBBY RUSS - JORDAN EDWARDS - AARON BAILEY - RONELL FOSTER - STEPHON CLARK - COREY CARTER - ANTWON ROSE II - TAYLER ROCK - MALICE GREEN - RAMARLEY GRAHAM - ELIJAH MCCLAIN - AIYANA STANLEY JONES - BOTHAM JEAN - PAMELA TURNER - DOMINIQUE CLAYTON - SEAN BELL - ATATIANA JEFFERSON - JEMEL ROBERSON - JAMES LEE ALEXANDER - RYAN MATTHEW SMITH - DERRICK AMBROSE JR. - ADDIE MAE COLLINS - CAROL DENISE MCNAIR - CAROLE ROBERTSON - CYNTHIA WESLEY - NICHOLAS HEYWARD JR. - CHRISTOPHER WHITFIELD - WILLIE MCCOY - VICTOR WHITE III - MARCUS DEON SMITH - MARTIN LEE ANDERSON - CHRISTOPHER MCCORVEY - BRADLEY BLACKSHIRE - TIMOTHY THOMAS - REGINALD DOUCET JR. - DANROY "DJ" HENRY JR. - KARVAS GAMBLE JR. - ERIC REASON - KORRYN GAINES - REKIA BOYD - KIONTE SPENCER - DARIUS TARVER - WAYNE ARNOLD JONES - MANUEL ELLIS - VICTOR DUFFY JR. - KOBE DIMOCK-HEISLER - CLINTON R. ALLEN - TIMOTHY CAUGHMAN - COREY JONES - TYRE KING - ERIC GARNER - MILES HALL - KENDRICK JOHNSON - CHARLEENA LYLES - MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN - TRAYVON MARTIN - RENISHA MCBRIDE - OSCAR GRANT III - KALIEF BROWDER - DARRIEN HUNT - TROY HODGE - WILLIAM GREEN - AHMAUD ARBERY - DION JOHNSON - TONY MCDADE - JAMEL FLOYD - BREONNA TAYLOR - GEORGE FLOYD - DAVID MCATEE -
No. I will not calm down.
The list of names on the image comes primarily from a list on babynames.com. Yes. You read that correctly. BABY NAMES DOT COM is sounding off about racism and ending police brutality, violence, and killings of black people. Not only can this middle aged white lady call out for change, write her representatives for change, make art for change, but BABY NAMES—BABY NAMES DOT COM (!!!!)—can do it. So, you can, too.
I don't know how pervasive it is in other cultures for women to be told to "calm down". I know that it is prevalent in my culture. I don't remember the first time someone who decided they had authority over me told me to calm down. I do remember that it was about injustice, and I wasn't even yelling.
To my fellow middle aged peeps out there (and anyone else), I urge you to not calm down. Many of us have searched for baby names. Many of us want to search for baby names. None of want anyone's baby-named-wonder-of-humanity to die, right?
So don't calm down.
Not all of us are yellers. Not all of us have or want children. Not all of us fight back in standardized or socially acceptable ways. All of this, and more, is just fine.
Write to your mayor.
Call your Representative.
Vote for all the things.
Go to a protest. (Wear a mask!)
Compose blog posts.
Tweet! Or whatever!
Have tough conversations with people you care about.
Watch documentaries about black lives.
Read books by black people.
Support businesses owned and run by black people.
Do things that have never crossed my mind but that you think will help.
Don't calm down.
The personal side of this is that after 84 straight days of doing a drawing every day, I'm worn out. I'm still in my pajamas, complete with snazzy-glasses-wearing-otter and its anemone friend. I really needed to take yesterday off for my health. Thank you for understanding.
Last night, while still trying to get pain to calm down, I decided that I'm stopping my daily journal drawings once I hit day 100. I have no idea if sheltering-in-place will be over by then, so I'm leaving my "(?)" in the title on the drawings.
I'll keep you informed about my plans about how I'm moving forward, as I figure that out. Everything is fluid with me, always. My methods need to change, but my spirit is intact. I will not calm down.
ADDENDUM: Last night in Atlanta, yet another person had their life ended by police. Rayshard Brooks was 27. I left a hanging dash after David McAtee's name to denote all the people who were not named but met the same ends. I don't want to leave Mr. Brooks off of today's post. He's here, in the purple, and I will not calm down.