The Black Christian Mothers Business Alliance’s (BCMBA) Equal Equals Equal Unity March for Justice on Saturday had 96 attendees including law enforcement.
BCMBA organized the peaceful equality walk because they had a message of unity to share after the death of George Floyd who died on May 25 in Minnesota after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while detaining him, sparking protests throughout the country.
“We are a nation of liberty and justice for all. We stand for all. We stand against racism, and we stand against hate,” BCMBA Director LaShawn Yates said.
“All lives matter,” BCMBA founding member Ivy Smith said.
Under sunny skies, with a warm 83 degrees, the walkers began at Aberdeen Lake Park at 10:30 a.m. and walked uphill to the sidewalk in front of CVS off Highway15-501.
The walkers stopped in front of CVS, paused for prayer and kneeled for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
The time represents the time the officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck.
For over two miles, the walkers held up fists, waved at honking drivers and held up their signs.
Demonstrator Gail Scott said that she was 11 when Martin Luther King was killed, and she sat in her father’s lap as he explained racism.
“Always felt that brown-black did not have a fair shake,” Scott said, “Read a lot in middle school; Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown, Malcolm X, and Toni Morrison.”
Scott said that she loves what is happening – people talking about not just police brutality, but where this is coming from.
BCMBA plans on holding a community forum with the Aberdeen Police Department to promote unity.
NC Impact Coalition, the group who organized the peaceful caravan protest a few weeks ago, has organized “Juneteenth Social Distancing event” on June 19 at 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the downtown Southern Pines Park.
The event will feature art, food, vendors, and drinks and has free admission. Attendees practice safe social distancing by viewing exhibits from their vehicles.
Juneteenth falls on June 19, the day in 1863 when orders that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed enslaved black people reached the final state to receive them, Texas.
Article, photos and video by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.