source: The Nation
published: 8 July 2016
Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are dead, joining a long roll call of black people killed by officials acting in the name of public safety. And so the nation now begins a process so familiar as to have become rote.
Many of us will want desperately to know more about these men’s lives, not merely their deaths. After each of the many executions we have collectively mourned, I have grasped for those kinds of details—some reminder that black lives do actually matter, to somebody.
Alton Sterling seems like he was a nice guy. He clearly had a friend in Abdullah Muflahi, who owned the food mart where he sold CDs and DVDs in the parking lot. Sandra Sterling, the aunt who raised him, says he was gregarious, perhaps self-consciously so.
He used his large frame as a punch line, maybe to put others at ease with his size. “He made everybody laugh because he was chubby,” she told Nola.com.