“It feels odd to say but I feel conflicted. The All Black Lives Matter March was the exact opposite of any of the other recent Black Lives Matter protests I’ve attended since the death of George Floyd. Thousands of people flooded the streets and were met with music instead of riot gear. The air was filled with chants and laughter as people danced through the streets. And while I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of militarized police forces, I did find myself wondering why this march felt like a party. Why did it feel like so many folks came out to dance and party in the streets? What organizations or elected officials were being held accountable or addressed directly? What was the objective for the day? Was this just an excuse to party during Pride month?
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“I want to be clear: People deserve to experience joy, even during dark moments in history. Watching black people laugh and dance at the end of the route warmed my heart. That is the type of freedom we are fighting for. But, watching non-black marchers show up in their best outfits lined up outside restaurants — setting up their cameras for blog posts and Instagram photos — or leading chants on megaphones that failed to mention Black LGBTQ+ people was disappointing. I marched because Riah Milton and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells were violently murdered this past week. I marched for every Black LGBTQ+ person who has been subjected to violence for being themselves. I marched to affirm my own existence as a queer Black woman. I marched because my people are being murdered. Violently and intentionally. I still wonder what some folks were marching for.“ —Alexis Hunley
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