21 hours ago, Beyoncé posted on Instagram a photo that read “THIS IS MY PARK” over a field of wild poppies, just below a purple mountainscape. She tagged @weareivypark, her iconic clothing brand, and the infamous @adidas. The post was captioned, “DRIP 2 October 20.”
Evidently, Beyoncé is planning her second Ivy Park drop, which will reveal a second collection on Oct. 30, ten days from today. But, aside from the Instagram post, little is known about what the collection has to offer.
Its predecessor, the capsule collection, sold functional athleisure and was cherished by many celebrities, including Zendaya, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, and Reese Witherspoon. It sported mostly maroons and oranges and was adored by those select few who got their hands on it.
The second collection keeps the promise Ivy Park makes on its website, first posted when the first collection sold out almost immediately. Aside from clothes, it also sold sneakers and accessories between $25 and $170, according to Kelsey Garcia of PopSugar.
“This IVY PARK capsule collection is only the first in an ongoing partnership with our world-class ally, adidas,” it says. “Thank you for being part of the flow. Stay tuned.”
Beyoncé announcement comes after weeks of her posting for Black Lives Matter, offering tributes to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake, and other Black Americans killed at the hands of law enforcement, and the release of her film/visual album, Black is King.
Next Friday, we will finally see what Beyoncé has to offer us, in a highly anticipated clothing drop that could literally be anything.
People For the American Way and Amsterdam News, the oldest Black-owned news business in the country, are excited to announce the completion of a major public art installation on the exterior of the Amsterdam News’s historic Harlem building.
The installation includes images from prominent artists participating in the Enough of Trump campaign, including some of the most influential Black and Brown artists in the country. The installation, which includes a permanent 30’x 70’ mural by world-renowned artist, Carrie Mae Weems, covers the full front facade and north facing wall of the Amsterdam News headquarters at 2340 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY. It also features pieces by artists Shepard Fairey, Beverly McIver, Amalia Mesa-Bains and Angelica Muro.
“Today, we are three weeks away from the most important election of our lifetime and for a historic Black newspaper to blanket their building in Enough of Trump art, in the middle of Harlem, sends a clear message to the nation and the world that people have had enough of Trump,” said PFAW President Ben Jealous. “The issues driving the mostly Black artists and artists of color who are participating in the Enough of Trump campaign, include his continued mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, his blatant racism, and his unconscionable encouragement of violent and deadly policing. We are really excited that the historic Amsterdam News is supporting artists participating in the Enough of Trump campaign.”
“Art has always been an influential tool in creating social change,” said Amsterdam News Publisher Elinor Tatum. “That’s why I’m thrilled to partner with People For the American Way and its Enough of Trump campaign at this critical time. Given the stakes in this historic election, it is more urgent than ever to inspire voters to transform their dissatisfaction over the increased polarization of this country, and the racism that this administration is perpetrating, into votes on Election Day.”
“America is at a tipping point,” said artist and project curator Carrie Mae Weems. “Either we move forward by electing Joe Biden, or we continue to regress with four more years of Donald Trump. It is that simple. Our hope is that this project serves as a reminder to residents of Harlem and Americans everywhere of the bigotry, hate and corruption brought on by four years of Donald Trump and the importance of voting him out next month.”
The national Enough of Trump campaign, which is a project of PFAW, features work from 17 different artists whose pieces are being shared on multiple platforms. The campaign’s mission is to motivate people to share what they have had “enough” of in the Trump era, and to get out and vote in November.
The campaign’s focus is on battleground states but its scope is national. In addition to the Amsterdam News art installation, PFAW recently announced “Enough” themed billboards in Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, and Michigan locations, with more to come.
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org.
The moon has a gravitational pull that is so powerful it causes what is know as a tidal force. A tidal force causes the earth and its water to swell; These actions are what determine if the level of ocean’s tide is high or low. Either way once this occurs the water, no matter how still, has a ripple effect, a shift; a change; Today, Goldenvoice’s newly formed Gvblack an AEG subsidiary along with Coachella announced several new inclusivity, progressive social initiatives. The buzz trend hype is about the new Coachella and Black lives matter merchandise that is on sale today. The Gvblack employees are proud to introduce is a socially influenced project powered by a new initiative as a direct impact of the murder of George Floyd to recognize the inequity of people of color in the info structure of Coachella. The objective is to bridge the gap with minority entrepreneurs and companies to infuse into the workforce.
The new Coachella x BLM merchandise exposes the creations of four Black designers Bricks and Wood, Nicholas Mayfield, Supervision & The newly introduced designer Diana Boardley who notably becomes the first Black Woman to do design merchandise for Coachella since the inception of the music and arts festival in 1999.
The half Liberian, Baltimore born visionary is a single mother who loves the joys of Motherhood. Diana is fueled by her work ethic to instill qualities of excellence in her children just as her Mother, Grandmother and Aunt poured into her. She freely admits that her process to be the full- time sole provider for her children after ending a fifteen-year marriage has been a struggle. “I want my children to know the truth about life, that includes the ups and the downs. The tides are ever changing depending on the time of year. Timing is always key in every life situation.” I was a full-time student when I attended John Hopkins University for my MBA. I have spent the last decade working full-time at the renowned Kennedy Kreiger Institute in Neuropsychology.” “Everything I’ve ever done was fast pace and full-time. I have place myself last for so long, I am just now clearing space for me.
The self-proclaimed women entrepreneur began designing as her passion on the side fifteen years ago. Diana has worked along side legendary merchandise brands. She is the original designer of the iconic Maestro character for JDilla. Mostly known as an industry insider favorite, she has remained behind the scenes quietly designing and manufacturing, until now. The current shift is high tide the moon is full, and it must renew.
Coachella x Black Lives Matter Merchandise. What does it all mean to you?
It’s a historic project for me to be a part of as a designer. Coachella is its own monumental platform with its own subculture and Black lives matter are the Black injustice advocates. I am honored I had the opportunity to work on the project. Once we discussed the brand collaboration, I read the statement Coachella released written a Goldenvoice V.P Rhea Roberts-Johnson and I was completely inspired. I started sketching that day.
I love the Design. What is your interpretation of it?
“I thought of the inequality in the world. The fist represents strength, the words Coachella dance from thumb to wrist and the BLM in red for lives lost & love needed. “My contribution is the love & Unity T-shirt. The collaboration of Coachella x BLM is powerful I had to represent the fist. I initially set my intention to spread Love with my design. I also wanted to create a piece that all people would feel comfortable wearing. I was specific about my color ways because its conscious apparel, so it has meaning as well.
At this time in your life what is the best part of this project and how has the experience been for you? Also has the project been impacted by the pandemic?
“The introduction as a designer is great. However, the most exciting element of the project is being able to give back. Each designer was able to select a 501c3 nonprofit organization to donate proceeds to. I selected a pilot program Sole Folks from the Non-Profit Organization Black Owned and Operated. Sole Folks is a young incubator program that pairs Mentors with youth ages 13-23 years old, they learn to design and manufacture T-Shirts. They also learn how to start a business. I take pride in knowing to the kids will benefit.” I love to help kids I plan on mentoring in the program”.
Yes, we have safety gloves and mask in place at our manufacturing facility due to Covid-19. The pandemic has had a significant effect, I actually met Rhea (V.P of Goldenvoice and the Gv Black team over a zoom meeting.
I was in the office the day Diana and Rhea met. I was in the middle of me interviewing Rhea; Diana was dropping off shirts and I’d made reference to whom I was interviewing and the two had a moment to introduce themselves. The earth has shifted. The two Black women were uniquely connected by the unification of the recent Civil unrest as opposed to the precedent that plagues us as Black women and a culture; The crabs in the barrel mentality. The renewal of this moment was inspired by creativity and a relentless effort to effect change. Diana was happy to extend her appreciation for the words Rhea penned as the Coachella statement of inclusiveness which adorn the back of the T-shirt she designed. I was internally ecstatic because it was at that moment, I realized that the cataclysmic event of the pandemic was not in vain and its purpose was change of ourselves and how we receive one another.
What is important as you move forward this journey? What would you like you share with anyone who is your mirror but is still struggling?
“I am allowing myself to take time for myself. I have the support of my two best friends, one reminded me to just breath. My other best friend sends me custom prayers and my Mom send me encouraging quotes. I am just in a forgiving space and I am pushing forward. As I understand myself more, I know that education is key and its something no one can take from you. I am grateful to tap into my passion which is design”.
What are you working on now? What’s next for you?
The project I am currently working on is Brand Collaboration that I can’t divulge. I am still working on Merchandise for Maimouna Youssef she and I collaborate for her line. I also, am launching my brand True That Merch under the Parent Co. The Boardley Brand. The best is yet to come…
The shift is complete. A Black Butterfly is transformed. The Black Butterfly represents longevity and a shift in power.
We as a people have been divided. We had been complacent and comfortable with the day to day monotony of our lives. Our cellphones and computers have become our livelihood, text has become our way to talk to one another. We have become excepting of unacceptable behaviors. We no longer know our neighbors. The entire world is affected by the Covid-19. When we thought nothing else could happen. The world all watched as George Floyd Gasp for his last breath with white police officers’ knee in his neck.
I once read there can be no forgiveness unless blood is shed. Forgiveness is a process of learning to let go. As much as we would like to be able to change the legal aspects of policing, Black Americans continue to be murdered at alarming disproportionate rates followed by protest and Civil unrest. One initiative we are all capable of is the change that begins within ourselves. As a society living with one another we can be a more considerate, more patient and understanding with one another. We are all capable of effecting change starting with accountability. We can be inspired by designer Boardley Boardley and never give up, never be complacent always continue to stretch and reach beyond our own capacity in the pursuit of excellence. We have entered a new day, filled with Trailblazers, Black Phoenixes and now Black Butterflies. If you have not felt the shift of today’s tide, its high. As the world changes and has its ripple effect, when the goodness comes your way grab a piece and be apart of the change for the better. Like the power of the Coachella x Black Lives Matter apparel designed by Diana there is greatness in the details even if you cannot see it.
W.E.B. Du Bois spent many decades fighting to ensure that African Americans could claim their place as full citizens and thereby fulfill the deeply compromised ideals of American democracy. Yet he died in Africa, having apparently given up on the United States.
In 1909, Du Bois was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), according to the organization’s website. During his time serving as the director of publicity and research, Du Bois founded The Crisis, a publication that focused on the African American pride and always published works from young members of this community.
After leaving the NAACP in 1934, Du Bois went on to become a voice in the civil rights movement. He was a leader of protests and was a part of the socialist party. In his lifetime, Du Bois wrote two books, The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction, in addition to his publication The Crisis.
In 1951, Du Bois was indicted as “an unregistered agent of a foreign power,” but was acquitted by a judge according to Britannica.
Becoming increasingly radical and being intrigued with the principles of communism, Du Bois left America and moved to Ghana in 1961, according to the History Channels’ online publication. He then became a member of the American Communist Party.
In this book, Elvira Basevich looks at the paradox of a man who wanted to change America but left in defeat by tracing the development of his life and thought and the relevance of his legacy to our our current state. She adeptly analyzes the main concepts that inform Du Bois’ critique of American democracy, such as the color line and double consciousness, before examining how these concepts might inform our understanding of contemporary struggles, from Black Lives Matter to the campaign for reparations for slavery.
She stresses the continuity in Du Bois’ thought, from his early writings to his later embrace of self-segregation and Pan-Africanism, while not shying away from assessing the challenging implications of his later work.
This wonderful book vindicates the power of Du Bois’ thought to help transform a stubbornly unjust world. It is essential reading for racial justice activists as well as students of African American philosophy and political thought.
Du Bois’ ideas and teachings were too radical for the time, but Basevich is taking a closer look at them and finding that many of these teachings a relevant today.
Her book is available for pre-order now and will be released on December 29, 2020.
On Fri. March 13th, Breonna Taylor was shot six times by Lousiville police officers and bled to death on the floor of her own apartment.
Six months later, one officer is indicted for wanton endangerment for his crime of unloading a firearm of bullets aimlessly into an apartment building. The other two officers concerned with the murder, whose bullets killed 26-year-old Taylor, are uncharged. By the end of the week, an audio recording of the court deliberations that decided these charges will be released.
Taylor, as she has come to be known by the nation, was working as an EMT. She had begun a relationship with a man her friends and family liked, and was nurturing plans for the future when police broke through her door with a battering ram and killed her.
The jury concluded that the behavior of the two uncharged officers was justified. They had a warrant, they reportedly announced their arrival, and they were fired on once by Taylor’s boyfriend, who does not report hearing their announcement, who legally owns a gun, and who feared for his life. This came more than two weeks after city officials agreed to pay Taylor’s family $12 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
The ruling was met with a wave of protests across the country comparable to those that were in response to her death—this time with more fervor.
Tapes of the deliberations that decided Taylor’s case are now set to be released, as a result of an unnamed juror filing a complaint, claiming that the Republican Kentucky attorney general, Daniel Cameron, mishandled Taylor’s case.
According to Rukmini Callimachi of the New York Times, the juror asked for the transcripts of the grand jury’s deliberations and a statement from the judge. Cameron agreed.
Cameron has since asked for a one-week delay that he says would allow him more time to ensure the privacy of witnesses. The preceding judge granted him a lesser extension of two days.
The release of the audio recording is set for tomorrow, exactly 29 weeks after Taylor’s untimely death.
Tickets available for events starting September 28 including Martin Luther King III and Pete Buttigieg, Michael Eric Dyson, Alicia Garza, and Van Jones
Hanover Square Press announced the virtual book tour line-up for Reverend Al Sharpton’s RISE UP: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads (available 9/29/20), starting on September 28 with an all-star line-up of today’s most important voices. Rev. Sharpton will be in conversation with Martin Luther King III and Pete Buttigieg, Michael Eric Dyson, Alicia Garza, and Van Jones. Tickets include a signed edition of RISE UP.
RISE UP is his seminal call to action, and in the book, Rev. Sharpton draws on his decades of unique experience as a civil rights leader, a politician, and a television and radio host to encourage voters to stand up for what they believe and enact change in their country. In RISE UP, he revisits the highlights of the Obama administration, the 2016 election, Trump’s subsequent hold on the GOP and his interactions and relationships with other key players in politics and activism. He also amplifies the new voices and movements that have emerged in response to the Trump presidency.
Rev. Al Sharpton is the host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” and the founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), one of the leading civil rights organization in the world. With over 40 years of experience as a community leader, politician, minister and advocate, the Rev. Al Sharpton is one of America’s most-renowned civil rights leaders. Sharpton also hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, “Keepin’ It Real”, which broadcasts in 40 markets, five days a week. He resides in New York.
Martin Luther King, III, the second child of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, has motivated audiences around the world with his insightful message of hope and civility. He has taken up the torch of his parents and continued the quest for equality and justice for all people. He has traveled extensively around the globe spreading the message of nonviolence and its role in resolving global, international, and cross-cultural conflicts. In addition to public service as an elected commissioner of Fulton County Georgia, Mr. King has served as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, also co-founded by his father, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social change, founded by his mother after the assassination of his father. He has himself co-founded several organizations including Realizing the Dream, a nonprofit non-governmental organization that fosters nonviolent peace and development strategies.
Pete Buttigieg has served as a two-time mayor of South Bend, Indiana and was a Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 2020. A graduate of Harvard University and an Oxford Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg enlisted in the US Navy Reserve and became lieutenant when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. In April 2019 he announced his candidacy for president and in February 2020 won the Iowa Caucuses, becoming the first openly gay person to ever win a presidential primary or caucus.
Michael Eric Dyson
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is a Georgetown University sociology professor, a New York Times contributing opinion writer, and a contributing editor of The New Republic, and of ESPN’s The Undefeated website.
Alicia Garza is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, an international organizing project to end state violence and oppression against Black people. The Black Lives Matter Global Network now has 40 chapters in 4 countries. She also serves as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s premier voice for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Additionally, Alicia is the co-founder of Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism.
Van Jones is the CEO of REFORM Alliance, CNN host and political commentator, and an Emmy award-winning producer. Jones has been a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than 25 years. He has founded and led many thriving social enterprises, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and the Dream Corps – a social justice accelerator that houses Dream Corps TECH, Green For All and #cut50, which led the charge to pass the FIRST STEP Act (a bipartisan Federal bill that the New York Times calls the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation).
About Hanover Square Press
Hanover Square Press publishes compelling fiction and nonfiction encompassing a broad range of genres—from crime, thrillers, literary and high-concept fiction to narrative history, journalism, science, biography and memoir. Hanover Square Press published its first titles in 2018, including the New York Timesbestsellers Hurricanes by Rick Ross, Lincoln’s Last Trial, Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense,and John Adams Under Fire,by Dan Abrams and David Fisher, For more information, please visit HanoverSqPress.com or on Instagram @hanoversquarepress.
About Harlequin Trade Publishing
Harlequin Trade Publishing is a leading publisher of commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction. The company publishes more than 100 titles a month, in both print and digital formats, that reach audiences globally. Encompassing highly recognizable imprints that span a broad variety of genres, the publisher is home to many award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling authors. Harlequin is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world. Through HarperCollins’ global publishing program, Harlequin titles are published in 17 countries and 16 languages. For more information, please visit HarlequinTradePublishing.com and @HTPBooks on Instagram.
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) today announced that the late U.S. Representative and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis will be honored with a special Recognition as an Ally for his work in fighting for justice and equality for all communities including Latinos through a tribute musical performance during the October 6th PBS broadcast of the 33rd Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards are among the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and are considered “America’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration” after being established in 1988 to commemorate the creation of Hispanic Heritage Month in America by the White House. Linda Ronstadt (Legend), Bad Bunny (Vision), Selena Gomez (Arts), Jessica Alba (Business), and America’s essential farmworkers (Heroes) will be awarded.
“The Congressional Black Caucus is known as the ‘Conscience of the Congress’ but John Lewis was known as the conscience of our caucus,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA). “One of the greatest honors of serving in Congress was that I had the possibility of serving with him. His legacy to our country is that he devoted his life fighting racism and injustice wherever he confronted it, from boycotts, sit-ins, to protests in the streets, to championing bold, progressive policies in Congress including the Voting Rights Act, and being a moral compass. Mr. Lewis also led the effort to build the African American History Museum and when we visit the museum, this is another opportunity for us to always remember him and what he stood for. Now that he is no longer with us, we have to live up to his legacy and protect the right to vote for all Americans. As we continue to face the challenges due to coronavirus, we must protect our democracy even in the midst of adversity. Most especially in this election.”
John Lewis was an iconic civil rights leader who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his passing on July 17th in 2020. He was also the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) 1963 – 1966.
Mr. Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States. In 1965, Mr. Lewis led the first of three Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. In an incident which became known as Bloody Sunday, state troopers and police attacked the marchers, including Mr. Lewis. He was a leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1991 as a Chief Deputy Whip and from 2003 as Senior Chief Deputy Whip. Mr. Lewis received many honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
The Hispanic Heritage Awards serve as a launch of HHF’s year-round, innovative, high-impact, actionable programs focused on education, workforce, leadership and culture. HHF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit www.hispanicheritage.org and follow the Hispanic Heritage Foundation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (SSPBA) announced today that it is endorsing Donald Trump for President in the 2020 election. SSPBA board members and representatives met with Vice President Mike Pence in Raleigh today to announce the endorsement. SSPBA is composed of over 60,000 law enforcement officer members throughout the Southeast. This is the association’s first presidential endorsement in over twenty years.
“With the stakes as high as they are for the law enforcement profession today, we felt that we must speak up in support of the true law enforcement candidates,” said Chris Skinner, SSPBA president.
“President Trump has been unwavering in his support of law enforcement,” President Skinner continued. “He has shown time and again that he stands behind the men and women who put on their uniform and badge and go to work each day,” President Skinner said. “In these times when many are attacking the law enforcement profession, it is imperative that law enforcement officers know that they are not on their own as they face the dangers of their job. We believe that President Trump and Vice President Pence have demonstrated that they understand and appreciate the honor and sacrifice of serving as a law enforcement officer.”
“The number one priority of government is to provide for safety and protection of the citizens. We are convinced that President Trump recognizes the fact that law enforcement and law enforcement officers are vital to the strength and stability of our communities,” President Skinner added. “We support President Trump and Vice President Pence because we know that they are the candidates who will continue to support us.”
Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Inc. is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to improving the law enforcement profession. PBA members are active or retired employees of federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement and correctional agencies. This professional association provides legal, legislative, disciplinary and other representation to member officers as well as a salary replacement death benefit to members’ beneficiaries. The PBA prohibits members from engaging in or condoning any strike by law enforcement officers, electing instead to represent members through aggressive political action. For more information, please visit our website at www.sspba.org.
Recently, our team journeyed to Washington, D.C. for the National Action Network’s Commitment March. The August 28 march marked 57 years since the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have A Dream” speech. According to the National Action Network’s website, the goal of the march was to advocate for comprehensive police accountability reform, promote participation in the Census and motivate voters to cast their ballots in the upcoming Presidential election.
The National Action Network was founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991. With nearly 100 chapters nationwide, the civil rights organization works in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. to achieve “one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, criminal record, economic status, gender, gender expression or sexuality.”
The trip from New York to Washington, D.C. was made easy by taking Amtrak’s Acela service. Despite the higher price point, the Acela is newer and less crowded than regional trains. The express train eliminated the burden of tolls and stopped in only a few cities, arriving in D.C. after about three and a half hours. It can be stressful to travel right now, so it was a relief to see how clean the train was. The quiet car, basic free wifi and outlets on board provided the perfect environment to research and write articles on our tablets. We utilized our extra time to discuss with one another and prepare for our coverage of the march and our days in D.C.
The café offered coffee and various snack options, and the sliding glass doors made it easy for us to walk through the cars. The reclining seats were comfortable and allowed us to rest before our trip. There were also sections of four seats for those traveling in a larger group. Each passenger could bring two personal items weighing up to 25 pounds, and two carry-on bags weighing up to 50 pounds at no additional cost. Amtrak is currently offering reduced fares for two to six tickets purchased together where riders can save eight to 45 percent.
Luckily, we were able to call Amtrak in advance to ensure we could carry on our folding bicycles. With limited parking available in the city, electric bikes served as a great mode of transportation for many protesters. E-bikes such as the DYU Smart Bike and a custom scooter from Good Vibe Gliders were an affordable alternative to renting a car, and made covering and participating in the march much easier.
The Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks started early Friday morning. Participants marched through the National Mall, many carrying signs remembering those whose lives have been lost in acts of police violence. Others displayed “Black Lives Matter” on flags, shirts and masks.
Some participants created street art during the event, voicing their support through their work. At one point, a number of demonstrators stood together in the Reflecting Pool in front of the Washington Monument. Marchers reached the section of 16 Street NW that has become known as “Black Lives Matter Plaza” around 3:30 PM before dispersing for the day.
Organizers of the march upheld COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. The National Action Network placed multiple signs throughout the National Mall encouraging social distancing, and took marchers’ temperatures as they entered the area. Face masks were distributed to people who did not have one, and visitors from high-risk areas were urged to join virtually from their homes. There was also a testing booth on site, as reported by WUSA 9.
The march was co-convened by Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. Among the thousands of attendees who gathered on the National Mall were the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Jacob Blake. Many members of these families gave speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, along with lawmakers from across the country. These congressmen and women pushed for legislation that would address cases of racial injustice.
Though she was not present, Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris shared her message to marchers via Twitter. In her speech, which was played at the event, she said, “…if we work together, to challenge every instinct our nation has to return to the status quo, and combine the wisdom of long time warriors for justice, with the creative energy of the young leaders today, we have an opportunity to make history, right here and right now.”
Yolanda Renee King took the stage to address the crowd, standing where her grandfather had led March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In a video posted by CNN she said, “We stand and march for love and we will fulfill my grandfather’s dream.” She then led a chant of “Show me what democracy looks like; This is what democracy looks like!”
Friday was also the 65th anniversary of Emmett Till’s murder. The 14-year-old was lynched and thrown off a bridge while visiting family in Mississippi. He was abducted after “allegedly whistling at a white woman,” according to ABC 7 Chicago, and his body was found mutilated in the Tallahatchie River. Till’s family never received justice, as the two men responsible for his death were both acquitted. Till’s murder helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. Civil rights leader and former congressman John Lewis wrote that “Emmett Till was [his] George Floyd” in a New York Times essay that was published on the day of Lewis’ funeral.
The trip provided a meaningful experience to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as time to see local relatives. 360 President Vaughn Lowery visited his uncle Leroy Lowery, the former executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, who raised over $120 million for the Stone of Hope.
Leroy Lowery is the son of the late Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights leader who helped Martin Luther King, Jr. establish the Southern Christina Leadership Conference, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Leroy Lowery attended the march with his father in 1963 and stated on Friday, “to see that we have to march [again] 57 years later is deflating.”
On Friday, August 28, 2020, tens of thousands of Americans from all racial, religious and geographic backgrounds gathered in Washington, D.C. on the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington to recommit themselves to the fight for justice; a fight that calls for the eradication of systemic racism, police reform and full and open access to the ballot box in November’s presidential election and beyond.
Others joined virtually from cities and states across the world to show their solidarity and to call for longstanding change. You can watch the complete coverage here on C-Span.
The day was empowering. Reverend Al Sharpton issued a clarion call for the next steps. Between now and November, National Action Network will organize voting education brigades and train poll workers to work the polls on Election Day. Our vote will not be suppressed.
According to CBS News, “Sharpton first announced plans for the march during a memorial service for George Floyd, the 46-year-old father who died at the hands of police in Minneapolis in May.” After the unjust killing of Floyd at the hands of police, cases of police brutality against the black community gained media attention, sparking protests across the world.
Many of those families who had been dismantled because of this violence epidemic had the opportunity to speak at this year’s march, coined the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” Commitment March on Washington. Philonise Floyd, George Floyds brother, and Tamika Miller, mother of Broenna Taylor who was killed in her home by police, both took the podium to speak to the crowd. NPR reported that Floyd told the crowd, “My brother, George, he’s looking down right now. He’s thankful for everything that everybody is doing right now. Our leaders, they need to follow us while we’re marching to enact laws to protect us.”
The March also hoped to bring attention to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. According to the New York Times the bill would, “overhaul law enforcement training and conduct rules to try to limit police misconduct and racial bias.” Which comes after months of protest demanding the defunding of police departments and more education for those pursuing a career in law enforcement.
We will work tireless to push for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020, named in honor of our beloved Congressman who recently passed away after a heroic battle with cancer. You can read more about these proposed pieces of legislation below.
More importantly, if you are not registered to vote, please do so today. Most states are offering mail-in and early voting. The 2020 presidential election may be the most significant election of our lifetime. Key issues that impact the civil rights community will be on the ballot. Additionally, you will want to make your voice known in your local elections, particularly on issues relating to education.
• Click here to find out deadlines for registering to vote.
• Call your Senators and urge them to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
Organizers originally estimated that there would be 100,000 protestors, according to the Washington Post; however, following a permit from the National Park Service that number was decreased to an allowed 50,000.. Organizers urged protesters to abide by COVID regulations by keeping social distance, causing some to step out into the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting pool in efforts to keep a six-foot distance.
Even with this cut, the immense power of the crowd was still felt. Protestors filled the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park holding signs painted with the faces of those who have been murder by police, calls voter registration and the dauntless reminder of the 8 minutes and 46 second George Floyd was pinned at the neck by an officer.
Martin Luther King III, King Jr’s son, spoke at the rally on the 57th anniversary of his father’s historical speech. CNN reported King III said, “If you’re looking for a savior, get up and find a mirror. We must be (our own) hero.” He reminded the crowd that quoting his father who died for this movement was not enough. King III stressed the importance of this generation of protestors to continue their activism and to vote in this upcoming election.
2020 has been a historical year engulfed by the flames of a pandemic and police brutality which both disproportionately affect black Americans. This years march served as a reminder that 57 years later, King’s dream has a long way to go and the fight for racial equality is still emanating through out America.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, end racial profiling, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias to help save lives. This bill addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It includes measures to increase accountability for law enforcement misconduct, to enhance transparency and data collection, and to eliminate discriminatory policing practices. The bill facilitates federal enforcement of constitutional violations (e.g., excessive use of force) by state and local law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:
• lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
• limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer or state correctional officer, and
• authorizes the Department of Justice to issue subpoenas in investigations of police departments for a pattern or practice of discrimination.
The bill also creates a national registry—the National Police Misconduct Registry—to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct. It establishes a framework to prohibit racial profiling at the federal, state, and local levels. The bill establishes new requirements for law enforcement officers and agencies, including to report data on use-of-force incidents, to obtain training on implicit bias and racial profiling, and to wear body cameras.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act
This bill establishes new criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions must obtain preclearance before changes to voting practices in these areas may take effect. (Preclearance is the process of receiving preapproval from the Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making legal changes that would affect voting rights.)
A state and all of its political subdivisions shall be subject to preclearance of voting practice changes for a 10-year period if (1) 15 or more voting rights violations occurred in the state during the previous 25 years; or (2) 10 or more violations occurred during the previous 25 years, at least one of which was committed by the state itself. A political subdivision as a separate unit shall also be subject to preclearance for a 10-year period if three or more voting rights violations occurred there during the previous 25 years.
A state or political subdivision that obtains a declaratory judgment that it has not used a voting practice to deny or abridge the right to vote shall be exempt from preclearance. All jurisdictions must preclear changes to requirements for documentation to vote that make the requirements more stringent than federal requirements for voters who register by mail or state law. The bill specifies practices jurisdictions meeting certain thresholds regarding racial minority groups, language minority groups, or minority groups on Indian land, must preclear before implementing. These practices include changes to methods of election, changes to jurisdiction boundaries, redistricting, changes to voting locations and opportunities, and changes to voter registration list maintenance.
The bill expands the circumstances under which (1) a court may retain the authority to preclear voting changes made by a state or political subdivision, or (2) the Department of Justice may assign election observers. States and political subdivisions must notify the public of changes to voting practices.
The bill revises the circumstances under which a court must grant preliminary injunctive relief in a challenge to voting practices.
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