The Great Awakening


Ask most historians and they’ll tell you the Great Awakening refers to a period in the 18th century English colonies in which the people in present-day America experienced a revived and unquenchable passion in their religious theologies. However nearly 300 years later, the term ‘Great Awakening’ is experiencing a revival of its own as it is used to describe an unprecedented time in American history. For a Black-owned bookstore in Fort Worth, ‘The Great Awakening’ is what the owners of the store are hoping is a period in which America will finally wake up to it’s predicament of centuries-old systematic racism. 


While racism is nothing new, the murder of George Floyd sparked international outrage and demands for justice to an unseen global degree. Across the world, the message, no matter the language, is the same- when will black lives start to matter? It’s a question backed up by years of oppressions, stories of victimization due to prejudices, and undeniable numbers that all point to the same upsetting, but present conclusion- black people’s lives are not being valued in the same way that white people’s lives have had the luxury of being. “Sadly, the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States seems only to be increasing,” Statista Research Department reports, “Additionally, the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than among any other ethnicity, standing at 31 per million of population as of August 2020.”


It’s these numbers, among the personal experiences felt by black people of all nationalities, that are being exposed on a global scale to motivate those of all races to rally against injustice. This is where the bookstore comes in. The Dock Bookshop, owned by sisters and boasting a 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google reviews, is an African-American owned business that has everything from audiobooks, greeting cards, music, coffee and tea. But their achievements lie far beyond just serving literary pieces and tasty beverages. After not only seeing their sales soar in recent months in correlation with the protest and observing many White Americans finally tuning into the calls for equality, the term ‘Great Awakening’ began to be used by the Craddock sisters, who own the store. “Every time we have a community crisis, the bookstore is a place for people to vent on,” Donya Craddock told NWAOnline in an interview. “We have created a space for people to gather, and talk about their frustrations.” 


Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. once iconically spoke “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Even in 2020, those words ring as true today as they did in the conflicted times in which Mr. King spoke them. For systematic racism will not cease to be an issue until people of all races, backgrounds and privileges can come together to echo this one true sentiment- black lives matter.