“The only caution here is language. The word “murder,” for example, is a legal term. It cannot accurately be said that a man murdered someone unless he has been convicted of that crime, and even then it should be said he was “convicted of murder.”- Investigative Reporting, Anderson and Benjaminson
Before my grandmother Geraldine Liston died, I asked her why she never remarried after Sonny died. She said, “There was only one Sonny, and he was the love of my life.” Sonny was “The Champion that nobody wanted.” What did she see in Sonny that the world did not see? She was able to love Sonny unconditionally. I was taken aback by this. Because for the first time, I realized that I had yet to do that. I did not love black people unconditionally nor myself. For the first time, I had to face my own self-loathing and shame of being a black man in America. And that is when my journey started. I used my grandmother’s words as my hypothesis. And set about trying to put that hypothesis to the test. Was she telling the truth when she stated that “No one knew Sonny like I knew Sonny, all they want to talk about are the lies?” The first thing I noticed when I started my research was that there were not any facts, only theories, and innuendo. If I could prove her right, that would mean that she was able to see in Sonny what I could not see in myself. She was able to see what the world could not see. And that was that Sonny was a man. A man capable of love and being loved. I knew at the outset that finding the truth about Sonny would set me free.