HomeFrontFriend Of Black Activist Explains Reasons Behind His Suicide | Black Matters

The interview on the death of activist MarShawn McCarrel with his close friend, Dante Barry – Posted at;blackmattersus.com – 

Being the director of @MillionHoodies, a Black racial justice membership organization, Dante Barry is one of those people who lead the Black community and help us to change our lives for better. Yet, activism is a two-side coin. There are times when a person feels empty and lets his demons win. This is what happened to MarShawn McCarrel, an activist and a friend of Dante Barry. On February 8, 2016, MarShawn took his own life in front of Ohio’s Statehouse. This suicide shocked everyone. Today we will raise uneasy questions on this unfortunate death and activism in general.

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Good afternoon, Dante! We are aware that you were close to MarShawn McCarrel, the activist who committed suicide in front of Ohio Statehouse. Can you tell us a little about his work as an activist? When and why did he join the Black Lives Matter movement?

Dante Barry


I want to make it clear from the very beginning: MarShawn was not a BLM activist. He was an organizer with the organization of the Ohio Students Association. He had been a part of the movement for the civil rights before the BLM movement emerged. With the Ohio Students Association, they had been organizing events for racial justice before Black Lives Matter took off.

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What do you remember when you think of Marshawn? What was he like?

Dante Barry


Being a leader of the Ohio Student Organization, MarShawn was doing an amazing work. He started his own couple of organizations. He always believed in giving back to, in serving those really poor level communities. We often talked about it. And I always will remember that. I deeply miss him and all those moments when we have shared our thoughts. We were prior to organizing FreedomSide. We came together after the 50th anniversary of March on Washington in 2013 to think about building a powerful majority of the black and brown community, of working class folks who would be forming the new American majority by 2042. We were organizing and that’s how we’ve met in 2013. We were able to spend a good time with each other. He was a little bit younger than me but I’ve been able to learn so much from our work together and him especially.

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He sounds like a young person full of life… Did he tell you that he was tired or stressed by any chance?

Dante Barry


I don’t want to get into the reasons why he did what he did. He was obviously stressed just like every black person. We all can see that the conditions of our life are so bad. It shouldn’t be a surprise that folks are not so confident of themselves. Basically, we are being told that we’re not worthy by the society. When I think about MarShawn I think about how extreme the conditions are. It was actually a sign to us all, about how we should take care of our people, take care of our community in conditions that are so bad.

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