Take a Knee!
Do you remember the Harlem Renaissance in 1920? Do you remember the time when the Church of the Advocate’s opened their doors for the Civil Rights Movement in 1968 and 1970 for the Black Panthers right here in Philadelphia?
Deja Vu! At this time, Philadelphia is one of the nation’s most populated cities in regard to the African American community. 2020 marks a new decade, yet we still see ourselves protesting, marching, and calling out for justice as we have in the past. Will effective change come from the city of Philadelphia as the nation continues to watch?
The recognition of the kneeling protest started with Colin Kapernick in 2016. Kaepernick took a knee to make a stance towards criminal justice reform and revealed the unacknowledged incidences of police brutality within the African American community. Today we take a knee yet again, but for a different reason. To honor a man’s life. “SAY HIS NAME” GEORGE FLOYD!
We caught up with some men of southwest Philadelphia at Francis Myers Recreation Center during a youth protest hosted by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and facilitated by youth community leader Ant Brown. This protest made up of community members from all diasporas was truly a sight as everyone took a knee to pay respect to George Floyd. Floyd lost his life due to an improper hold by a Minneapolis Minnesota police officer, a knee pressed against his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. We questioned whether community members had a response to combining the protest with that of Kapernick.
Was there any resemblance of justice or injustice?
Are you mad or Nah?
As crowds gathered, police attended and surveyed the event. Attendee’s emotions were high, yet most reported they were energized and desiring more local call for action. “That knee, now, represents our chance of getting up…” said one community member, pronouncing unity from the people as a more reputable action for change.
This video contains raw audio from various different community leaders and residents of South and Southwest Philadelphia. No names or faces will be provided. Residents will be providing answers to a series of repeated questions. Hear what some have to say about protesting, taking a knee, effective change, and more. This raw audio was recorded on June 16, 2020, in Philadelphia.
Pictures: Exhibit A Art Design