A Miami-based nonprofit foundation is working to raise awareness about police brutality and anti-black racism through affordable t-shirts.
“Truth is, we’re all one bullet away from being a #hashtag,” is a quote that’s been making its rounds on social media ever since 2014.
It can be seen written on cardboard signs at #BlackLivesMatter protests across the country.
It’s also the quote that inspired Marcus Spady and Paul “JoJo” Ghartey to call their foundation “1ne Bullet” when they established it in July of 2016.
The name is the perfect way to emphasis how quickly black lives seem to end.
If the name isn’t enough to generate interest, then the website certainly will be.
The first thing you notice when you visit www.1nebullet.org is the black and white protest photos, most of which are pretty famous on social media.
You can click through and see photographs of a protester with a chain around his wrist.
Another photo shows a woman holding a sign reading, “Who do you call when cops murder?”
The second thing you’ll notice is that Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” is on auto play, and starts blasting after a few seconds on the home page.
“We are at a time where we must unite in order to bring changes to a system that targets and systemically oppresses Black people in America,” the about us page reads. “America has never been a safe place for Black people and due to recent events, we are at a time of necessary action and a consciousness shift.”
The plan is to unite people through the #ItCouldveBeenMe (ICBM) shirts. The shirts are black and have a very simple design: the wearers’ name on the front with a hashtag next to it and the phrase “It could’ve been me” on the back.
Each shirt is customized to who purchases it: you have to specify a name when you place the order. They are available in sizes small-3XL.
The shirts are $15 flat.
Since 1ne Bullet is a non-profit, the price only covers the cost of manufacture and shipping. According to the 1ne bullet website, any proceeds that could be gained will be donated to charities and families of those who have been affected by police brutality.
Spady and Ghartey, the two men who are guiding the one-month-old foundation, are pretty young themselves.
They are both recent graduates of the University of Miami.
They are also both members of the black Greek organization Kappa Alpha Psi, also commonly referred as the Nupes.
They are two black men in their 20s—a demographic category that is often highlighted in discussions surrounding police brutality and its victims.
“Outraged with the tragedies surrounding the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of the police, we saw these tragedies as something that we could easily become a victim to, and we wanted a way to give the community a platform in order to reflect on what it means to be Black in America,” the site reads.
The two are common features of the University of Miami’s Kappa Instagram page, and have been photographed alongside members of the University of Miami administration, including university president Julio Frenk.
Spady even has a picture with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin.
He met her at the Back to School Extravaganza hosted by the Trayvon Martin Foundation.
“Ms. Sybrina loves the idea!” the photo’s caption reads.
Although 1ne Bullet’s social media accounts are still pretty new, it is the main way the word is getting out about the shirts.
The Instagram accounts features a photo of a young woman who had purchased the shirt and customized it with her full name, a sign that the 1ne Bullet team is taking the right steps forward.
There’s also word-of-mouth: another way for Spady and Ghartey to tell as many as possible about their mission.
And if their mission statement rings true, they will be telling the world about 1ne bullet.
“We cannot stand and let one of us become another #hashtag,” the last line reads. “The time is now.”
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