She Matters March held in response to Breonna Taylor case verdict – The Bottom Line News
This article is the result of a collaboration between Cassie Conklin and Delanie Blubaugh.
Over 150 community members gathered on the afternoon of Saturday October 3 for a “She Matters: Safe Not Silent March” to remember the life of Breonna Taylor and to protest the lack of justice in her . Case. The event was organized by Allegany County NAACP Branch 7007.
The “she” in She Matters refers to “anyone who considers themselves to be a woman, and anyone who looks like me, has my skin tone or darker or lighter,” said Tifani Fisher, vice president of the NAACP section of Allegany County. “Women who are left out, neglected and not receiving justice. Women who look like me are more at risk of being raped, of being murdered, of being victims of police brutality. We could be murdered without leaving a trace or a case. We are an endangered species.
Attendees gathered at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Washington Street, where signs were handed out and shirts and pins were on sale. The march began shortly after opening remarks by Ms Fisher, NAACP President Carmen Jackson, FSU Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Ms Robin Wynder, and Reverend Martha Macgill, Rector by Emmanuel Episcopal. Clory Jackson, founder of The Brownsville Project, and Fisher, among other black leaders, then led the group down Washington Street towards Cumberland Town Hall.
The walk itself was moderately slow and the group often stopped and remained completely still while the spectators listened to their chants. Highlight of the march, the crowd froze for three full minutes chanting: “It could have been me. It could have been you. “
With a passion in her voice that was heard throughout downtown Cumberland, Clory Jackson led the group in vocals until they reached their destination at Town Hall. While waiting for the group, there was a full table setup with clothes for sale, as well as voter registration booths staffed with volunteers from the NAACP and the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC). Urging members of the crowd to use the resources provided to them, Fisher said, “Your vote counts. If you just walk the streets with us and don’t vote in November, then nothing changes.
Carmen Jackson, NAACP Local President, said, “Voter suppression is alive and well in Allegany County. People will ask me to post a memo on where to vote and how to vote, but every time I hit send the rulebook has changed.
Clory Jackson, daughter of Carmen and Lance Jackson and descendant of the community of Brownsville and Park Avenue, also delivered remarks. She helped tell the story of her ancestors facing racial terror and eminent domain as the Frostburg State campus grew. The community once stood where the Upper Quad is today. During the event, Clory told the crowd, “To my black and brown brothers and sisters, your story didn’t start with slavery and your story didn’t start with genocide. Before that, we were kings, queens and rulers. She continued, “Deconstruct the hierarchy. Unlearn every message you have ever learned about yourself. Let us return to our origin, where we were one people, where we were one humanity.
Fred Chavis, a science teacher at Hagerstown College and vice president of the Washington County NAACP, spoke after Clory. He and his wife, also an educator, traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to protest Taylor’s murder. “Where is the justice when our black women are murdered in beds where they should feel safe? He asked the crowd. “We cannot dare to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and not protect our women and our daughters.”
Angel Young, a FSU student, a young poet and podcast host, was also invited to speak at the event.
Although fairly new to the protest, Young has always been interested in politics and human rights, and was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to work in her community, she said. later. TBL. “My future ambition is to put myself in a position where I can implement and lead change within the black community,” said Young, “if we are to place ourselves in positions of power in which we can establish real change starts with building our communities. Click here to read our profile on Angel Young.
The local chapter of the NAACP has been instrumental in identifying new and emerging voices like FSU students Angel Young and Austin Gillens. However, Fisher told the crowd, “Although I’m here with the next generation, I don’t want to pass the torch because I want this to end. I want us to stand up and say ‘we did it.'”
Indeed, throughout the event, the speakers expressed the wish that this walk be the last. In his closing to the crowd, Fisher cried Breonna Taylor and lamented the Kentucky Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute the murder charges against the police in the case, saying that “the bullets who entered the drywall counted more than the bullets that riddled his body, ”but that the event had inspired him to reconcile. “From now on, I want you to be authentically and unabashedly Black and Brown and who you are, ”she resolved. “Today is over.”