The Agents of Change: Sasha Allen Walton, Editor-in-Chief of Northend Agent’s Newspaper

The Agents of Change

(WTNH) — Eight minutes and 46 seconds. A moment in time now frozen. A Black man in police custody struggled to breathe. George Floyd’s last breath touched a raw nerve and reignited a movement.

“This is our plight and we won’t stop until it matters to everybody.”

“I am angry”

“Turn your pain into action, turn your tears into action, turn your grief into action. We can change this.”

It also gave birth to “The Agents of Change.”

“We can change this. We can change this. We must change this.”

“My name is Sasha Allen Walton. I am the Editor in Chief of Northend Agent’s Newspaper, Connecticut’s largest and oldest African-American newspaper owned and operated by Black people.

It’s very important when we have Black media entities that they are owned by us so that our narratives and our perspective are done in a way that is authentic and true to us where we can be transparent and honest about whatever we’re going through. But in today’s times, I think we see the resurgence of the need to have a safe and sacred space to have these dialogues.

It’s also a place for us to take our rage and move it out of her body and move it into space where it’s healthy and there’s able to be a discussion.

I heard about George Floyd because he came across my wire and when it came across it was like again… How… Why… What am I supposed to do with this? Should I re-share this information? How do I safely and healthy reshare this information without causing more trauma… How can I responsibly say, ‘This is going on and what are we gonna do?’ So some of that required me to be silent and to be still and in that silence and that stillness, our response was we created an extra edition it was a labor of love led by a lot of college students and it was a complete response to how we felt about what was going on. What our ideas were, how we were going to move forward, what works best for us, but there was a way to move and create healing and just momentum on how to move forward and not stay stuck in pain.

That was tough because there was so much information coming to me that I could not share that was tough because the information was traumatic and that was tough for me because it was a reminder that that could have been my Black husband at any time. That could’ve been my Black brothers and sisters and cousins. It could’ve been any one of us in there. There was no escaping this. There was no way to be quiet and act like it wasn’t happening. It was in my face in a new way.

I don’t think the cause has died down. I think people are tired. They are tired to have to march tired of screaming at the top of their lungs, but there are so many other things that are being birthed in this tiredness. So in this tiredness, you have room for Black women to lead these causes. For their opinions the expertise all that information to come to the forefront and not be watered down or pushed to the side so often helping the cause.

We are behind the scenes helping and orchestrating and with this you see us at the forefront holding people accountable, using our voices in a way that we haven’t had the freedom to use them. I think now as we move forward, it’s really a great time to look to young people- look for the Millennials look for Generation X, let them have some room at the table.

Their fire, their direction and their understanding are valid they just need the space to express that to be a part of the causes as we move forward. I consider myself an Agent of Change because I have hope. I have hope that we can be better and move in a different direction in spite of what the realities of the world are telling me. I have hope that as a Black woman, my perspective is a value to everyone in this world and that really helps me continue to be an Agent of Change.

Sasha Allen Walton. Editor in Chief of Northend Agent’s Newspaper

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