Just two days after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, the residents of Tallahassee experienced their trauma of state violence in Florida with the murder of Tony McDade. Amid a pandemic, activists and community members dropped everything to demand justice in the streets.
I was interested in identifying just a few of the people risking their health for a cause. So I reached out to the local organizations to learn about the individual’s personal bonds to being a part of a national fight against state violence and oppression.
Marie Rattigan, 24, is a field organizer for the Tallahassee chapter of Dream Defenders in Florida.
“Myself, mom, dad, and brother have all been mistreated by the police and I want to be the change I want to see. On the streets, I’m no longer just thinking about me. I’m thinking about my nieces, nephews, and unborn children.”
Saskiya Fagan, 24, is a field organizer for the Tallahassee chapter of Dream Defenders in Florida.
“I do my work for other young Black girls trying to figure out who they are in the world. I think we’re taught to be small and quiet. Part of my advocacy work means I have to take up space and be comfortable enough within my voice and my body to show up fully in the fight.”
Jasmine Hudson, 23, is a founding member and student liaison for the 850 movements in Tallahassee Florida.
“I think about the student activists that come before me. Regardless of them being students, they knew that they were Black in an America that wanted to see them lose. Everybody deserves to be treated fairly regardless of who they are or what they do in life.”
Trisha Brown, 51, is a member of the Tallahassee Action Committee and candidate for City Commission Seat 2 in Tallahassee.
“Me being impacted by gentrification, impacted by poverty, and impacted by incarceration; I’m about strategizing, mobilizing, and uplifting voices. I want to give prosperity, justice, and equality to all of us citizens in the city of Tallahassee.”
Communities all over the United States expect their local police department to protect them and their families. This expectation soon took a turn when the number of unarmed Black men being killed by police was constantly in the news.
NABJ/NAHJ’s Demetria Bias reports. […]