Hometown uplifts black voices and demands change
In Blacksburg, dozens of people gathered Friday evening for a vigil to uplift black voices in the community outside police headquarters.
The folks who attended etched phrases and names into the sidewalk, remembering the names of lives lost at the hands of the police.
“I think it’s important now more than ever that others become involved in that work,” said speaker Brandy Faulkner. “When we say black lives matter, we are not just talking about police violence, though that is certainly part of it. We are talking about a system that victimizes black people in every single area of human activity.”
People, young and old, listened to what their fellow community members had to say on the matter, adding their tokens to a growing memorial.
“This is something that impacts African American people daily, so beyond this movement and this moment, so it’s something that’s getting a lot of attention now, but it’s something that needs to carry on into the future,” said participant Deneisha Scott-Poe.
A message many others reflected on during eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence.
“This is a time of mourning, we’ve been in mourning for 400 plus years, this is kind of compounding it, so I was just reflecting on those people,” said participant Stephanie Cooke.
Leaving the folks who gathered with a message of hope.
“When we work together at the community level we build power, and as we build power we are able to be more effective in pursuing policy changes,” Faulkner said.
Faulkner said this is only the first of many steps and that it’s important for folks in the community to figure out goals and objectives, continuing on the momentum once things calm down.
She said it’s important to keep doing community-based work.