Black lives matter

I went to the Millions March Boston demonstration in downtown Boston today. What an incredible experience. I’d never participated in something like that before: strangers raising their voices in unison to call for justice (“No justice — no peace!”), an end to racist profiling by police across the country, and solidarity among disparate groups with a common cause. We marched from the State House to the Suffolk County Jail, where inmates banged on their windows to let us know they heard us…

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Seeing fists striking solid plastic from the inside, men sitting and watching from high above, brought tears to my eyes. What a luxury we enjoy walking through the streets protesting and hollering. We have our freedom, our lives, things that neither Michael Brown or Eric Garner, nor these inmates have. What a strange thought that we can just pick up a sign, get on the T, and go anywhere we want to meet with new people and form a march. What power in this freedom that we rarely truly understand.

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2 thoughts on “Black lives matter

  1. Katie, to me, this was a powerful piece of writing. The imagery you allowed me as the reader to have as you experienced this walk of advocacy is profound. I am most deeply taken aback by the inmates banging on the windows in solidarity. On the many marches I’ve participated I have never included inmates. A lost opportunity on my part to bring them into the fold. I will keep this in mind the next time I organize a rally for justice and racial equality.

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    • Diane, thanks for reading and for your comment! It reminded me that even in the event of civil rights demonstrations and actions, exclusion can apply. Thinking about the “luxury” of being able to choose to assemble on any given day — a “luxury” for those of us who are not incarcerated — is compounded by recent conversations about the disproportionate representation of Black men and women in American prisons over the last 15 years. Do Black lives matter? Which ones? Such important questions that are abstracted from our daily lives.

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