JD Fuller MSW, LCSW
3 min readAug 11, 2023

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The Battle of Montgomery Alabama

I’ve been obsessively watching videos and reading about what occurred on this high holy holiday the Sweet Tea Party. Some people see the chair being used by an older Black man as an egregious act. I have watched the video enough times to so see that man’s distress and how he used the chair in a dangerous situation. Not enough people consider the historical and psychological context of occurrences in real time. We always hear about how white bodies feel threatened by the color our skin but never how Black bodies feel threatened daily by the aggressive, fragility of whiteness.

Meanwhile, a woman in a white body is captured in the video holding on tightly to her drink, so that she can navigate the chaos to kick a Black man, on the ground, after he was jumped by a number of white men (who by the way, was just trying to do his job). Can you imagine the hatred one has towards someone they don’t know, to do a such despicable act like that. That comes from a deep place.

Think about the level of audaciousness and privilege aka advantage a group of people must have to think that they can “Ku klux klan” a Black man in plain site with other Black bodies there to witness it, uninterrupted. They had to have channeled their ancestors, when they forced enslaved people to witness the massacre of other Black bodies. Damn, that is a violent and unconscionable legacy to uphold.

A general narrative is that white bodies become angered or are threatened when Black bodies are successful. They feel threatened at the competition. During the the Sweet Tea Party 23’ the narrative is that they were angered because the Black man (the co-caption) gave them a direction. Do white bodies generally act the same way when other white bodies give them a direction? I have never heard of such a thing.

Black bodies always invoke the energy of our ancestors. Whether it is to use the strength they had to survive enslavement or to show the ones that came before us that their sacrifices were not in vain. The white body culture doesn’t consider how their legacy informs how they move through the world. White bodies have been angry, violent and demanding towards Black bodies since enslavement. They unconsciously fear retribution so they act in that fear and anger to keep us where we belong “ only in their minds”.

Until white bodies realize the impact their legacy has had on them how can change really occur. Or do people truly believe. that they hold no connection to their lineage, unless it benefits them. I know that the level emotional connection Black bodies had toward moment of reckoning is much deeper than any of us can tolerate imagining.

This Alabama Slamma is a historical event for so many reasons. The ones that come up for me are seeing a group of women paying tribute to our ancestors right before this attack, where Black bodies were once tortured and sold. Another is that these older Black men stood along side the younger ones to right this wrong. The final one is our ability to use humor to soothe our pain and our ability to respond as a collective to make our ancestors proud.

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JD Fuller MSW, LCSW

J. Denise Fuller is an African American therapist who has over 25 years of experience as a mental health clinician, educator, writer, and consultant.