“They left us dead! They left us dead!
And we ain’t supposed to be mad?”
Last Saturday, April 1, 2017, I had the opportunity to attend a Black Lives Matter protest in the southeastern quadrant of Washington, DC. Since it was the first BLM instance I attended in my life (I hope it isn’t the last), I learned a lot about the movement, its participants, and various social and political elements of this particular protest.
Before the “Take Back Our Streets” event, both the Black Lives Matter DC and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) organizations posted an invitation on Facebook for white participants to “attend a pre-march orientation” led by SURJ about how they can and should respectfully participate during the protest. I went to this training, scheduled for 12:30 pm, because I was interested in how SURJ would handle the crucial responsibility to educate non-black marchers. I also didn’t want to unintentionally disrespect the community I was in.