The Experience of the #BlackOut Protest in Greensboro: Feature
Updated: Jun 19
Eris Lowdermilk, Assistant News Director
The Black Lives Matter movement is gaining international attention due to George Floyd’s death. Though this was not the first encounter of police brutality, the sickening video of Floyd's last moments left a lasting impression worldwide.
As a result, protests in all 50 states, as well as foreign countries, have joined in outcry against police brutality, systemic racism and LGBTQ+ rights.
On Sunday, June 7th I attended the #BlackoutNC in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In the heart of downtown Greensboro, Lebauer Park is a space where people gather for various events such as the Folk Festival and Winterfest.
The post for the protest had the time, location, purpose, and at the bottom mentioned to "Wear masks. Bring signs. Wear black." This protest was specifically organized to be an anti-police brutality demonstration.
As more people approached the amphitheater, the protest organizer began to introduce the speakers accordingly. This protest was specifically organized to be an anti-police brutality demonstration. When some friends and I arrived at the center of the protest, there were a large number of people offering free water, snacks and first aid. There were medic tents surrounding the amphitheater ensuring safety as it was about 84 degrees outside. While calling out the police brutality with Greensboro Police Department, a speaker vocally professed about being assaulted by reporter Woody Marshall from Greensboro's News & Record, a major newspaper for the Triad. The speakers mentioned how a reporter at the News & Record did not protect a Black woman's identity, where she later received harsh messages.
Overall, the speakers were peaceful and focused on different topics where the Black community was lacking in representation. It started out about prayer and community, led to the inequalities in the Greensboro community, then ended with the inclusion of Black LGBTQ+ rights.
Around 4 p.m. protestors began to march towards the city hall. Loud collective voices shouted the names of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and Marcus Deon Smith. It had to be thousands of people gathered walking the streets of downtown Greensboro. As protestors approached city hall, there was a stage with a choir and band prepared to sing gospel music. As the protest came to a close, various preachers came together professing their love for God and offering prayers and music for the crowd.
As the Black Lives Matter attains more attention, it is important to remain aware of the inequalities in communities everywhere.
SAY THEIR NAMES:
Marcus Deon Smith
And Many More...
Links for donations/petitions to sign:
Black Owned Businesses in Greensboro, NC: