As the country has reeled from the police killing of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter has risen to the forefront of the nation’s conscience Black women have fought to be heard.
The lack of justice for Breonna Taylor who was murdered while sleeping in her apartment by Louisville, KY, police officers serving a no-knock warrant on June 23, has become a meme that stresses the idea that normal everyday life should not go on until justice is served. “That show was great last night. Arrest Breonna Taylor’s killers.” “Drink plenty of water, was your hands and arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.”
While those memes fail to do justice to the abhorrent nature of Taylor’s murder, they do speak to the sense that Black women who have lost their lives due to police violence are being forgotten.
The women behind E.L.E.V.A.T.E 518 want to change that. Starting with an event outside the Boys and Girls Club in Albany today they put the focus on powerful and brilliant women of our area, giving D. Colin, Karyn Dyer and Jeid Ebanks the spotlight and reserving the microphone for women of color to speak their peace.
E.L.E.V.A.T.E was founded by women including Breye Boddie, Destini Harris and Camille Hobbs over a little more than two months ago meeting at the Boys and Girls Club in Albany to further discussion around improving the lives of Black women in the community. They say they want to engage “district attorneys, judges, medical professionals” and a conversation about the injustices Black women face in their day-to-day lives.
Black vendors selling t-shirts, beauty products and snacks as well as a voter registration booth, live painting and a medical tent where demonstrations of how to help remove chemical agents from the eyes took place were all part of a festive and warm atmosphere. Snacks, drinks hand sanitizer and masks were provided for free and the mask wearing was rigorously followed
Only a few blocks away at the State Capitol a “Back the Blue” rally took place where gaggles of white people draped in American flags, “Blue Lives” flags, and denim lamented that their lives matter too, that BLM protesters should get jobs and that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a “tyrant.” Many of the attendees were not wearing masks.
Although a march and demonstration was part of the event E.L.E.V.A.T.E organizers took steps to insure the two rallies would not meet.
ELEVATE 518 Black Women Matter – March