This is a video of Tyre Nichols skateboarding. Tyre Nichols is of course also the young Black man who was killed by a group of Memphis Police Department officers early this year. I first discovered this video on Instagram, where it was shared with the comment:
“Don’t watch the Tyre Nichols video if you don’t have to. It’s horrifying and heartbreaking. Instead watch this video of his and honor his life, which was stolen from him by the Memphis PD. “@quentin.quarantino on Instagram
This notion was shared by actor LeVar Burton in a twitter thread I recommend, and by politician Malcolm Kenyatta.
I actually did watch all of the Tyre Nichols footage. At least enough to be heartbroken, horrified and angry. I think there is some value in people (like me) who are not as affected by police brutatlity to confront these stories in the most grueling way. If you see and hear it, you won’t forget it.
But at the same time, I think it’s also equally imporant to not endlessly share explicit videos of Black death. We also need to share more Black life, more Black joy. And this reel of what seems to be Tyre Nichols skateboarding is just that. I think.
The New York Times published an article that gives voice to some of Tyre Nichols’ friends, and shows what a lovely, normal, complicated young man he was.
And what skateboarding meant to him.