Savanna Hartman: “Black lives do matter. We have to do better.”
“I just feel like something has to be said,” a deeply saddened Pastor Savanna Hartman declared when she heard yet another black person got shot by police for no good reason. She then decided it was high-time she and her fellow white people made a serious attempt at healing the wounds of racism.
How? By facing it head on, talking about it, and apologizing to the black community seriously and from the heart.
On Wednesday, Savanna Hartman gathered her thoughts. She then live-streamed a raw and emotional nine-minute video on Facebook that that was equal parts statement, part spoken word, part prayer.
“We have to be better. We have to accept our part as white people. You say this is not a color thing, you can say that it’s a sin thing, you can say that it’s not one versus the other. But the fact of the matter is that we, as white people, we have to accept our actions. We have to accept our role in this. We have to accept where we have let them down. We have to apologize and we have to do better. We have to do better.”
It immediately went viral: Within 24 hours it had been viewed 11 million times.
Watch: Pastor Savanna Hartman’s powerful message about racism in America.
So why did Savanna Hartman do it? WTSP reports she declared, “I just feel like something has to be said.”
Savanna Hartman keeps busy most days working from home with her two little boys. She and her husband just moved to Tampa a few months ago to start a church. But Wednesday, when her husband told her about the Alton Sterling shooting in Baton Rouge, she felt sick. “So I sat down at my computer and I started to write and 15 minutes later the spoken word was done.”
Some angry comments made her consider taking the video down at first, but Savanna Hartman decided to stick it out.
“I just encouraged myself in the Lord and said you know, I’m going to stand for this even if it makes everyone unhappy and I left it and I’m really glad that I did, cause in a matter of about a half hour after that it all changed the other way.”
Complete transcript of Savanna Hartman’s powerful statement, poem and prayer on racism in America.
Featured image: Video screengrab via Savanna Hartman/Facebook.