Botham Jean's Death ‘a Form of Lynching,' Dallas Storyteller Says in Racial Healing Event

Within a minute of Jeremy Bonner stepping into the spotlight at Moody Performance Hall Tuesday evening, most the crowd was swaying, clapping and singing along to the last song Botham Jean led at Sunday worship, "Let it Rise."He let them, before pointing his fingers into the shape of handgun and cutting them off with the sound of the two bullets that off-duty Dallas Officer Amber Guyger fired at him in September.He needed everyone to appreciate how abruptly Jean's life had been cut short before he shared his memories of the man, he said.In the May 2019 edition of Dallas storytelling series Oral Fixation, director Dr. Njoki McElroy wanted to ensure that the audience recognized the common theme in each of the seven stories told in "Freedman's Town to Botham Jean: Stories for Racial Healing.""It's like a wound," McElroy said. "You cant heal a wound if you don't acknowledge you have it. Wounds usually heal with air, so we wanted to air these stories ... and we wanted the stories without the preaching."Bonner doesn't want to make white members of the audience feel guilty, or black members feel angry. The point of the show is to share without judgment, he said."This is just a spiritual opening," Dallas life coach Tishun Nikco told the cast after their first performance. "As a young black woman, I've felt it, I cried from my heart."From a biracial English woman's introduction to overt American racism to a white woman's decision to follow her family's wishes and leave a loving black boyfriend, each of the stories was meant to expose the connection between the segregation that kept McElroy from entering Dallas public libraries as a child and the narratives surrounding Jean's shooting in September.  Continue reading...

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