I'm from Birmingham, Alabama, so we often talk about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four girls and how that event has been passed down through generations and it still shudders through our soul. Is there any moment in history like that that you grew up learning and has been triggered because of these events?I mean, again, there were so many, but even over here, we had when I was younger, there was a young black boy by the name of Stephen Lawrence who was killed by these four or five racist guys. The parents were fighting for years for justice. There were marches, there were campaigns and so many people that tried to fight to this day for justice for Stephen Lawrence. There's another black boy, Mark Duggan. Basically, he was in a car and the police stopped him and literally just opened fire on him and killed him. Things that you've seen with like the civil rights movement during like church bombings, people walking into church and shooting people. All of these instances make you feel that we haven't gotten anywhere. That we're now still dealing with this, and not only dealing with it, having to explain to people why it's an issue and how it affects us. It's traumatic. Growing up, we're watching it or it happens in our area, but imagine being one of these people actually videoing it or who were on the street when it happened. That is literally going to cause so much trauma within the community that is not dealt with, and we are kind of just expected to be strong and continue and just go on until something else happens. I feel like, for me, and I'm sure for the majority of black people, all of these things are so traumatic in a way that it touches all of us in some way.
Normally both sets of holidays are packed with family, friends, food, and celebration—yet this year, as the US and the world weather the Covid-19 crisis, leaders in both faiths have been forced to reimagine what’s possible when churches, synagogues, and houses of worship are closed and group gatherings discouraged or prohibited to slow the spread of the disease.