Interviews with protesters of the Black Lives Matter movement and in reaction to the murder of George Floyd.
By Michelle Lozano, A-LMFT
Please share your first name, age and any identities you want to share.
My name is Brandon Curry; I am a 28-year-old black man.
I grew up raised by an interracial couple (black father, white mother). I attended a predominately white high school, then attained my bachelor’s degree from a Historically Black College/University, Kentucky State University.
Q. When and where did you attend protest? What streets did you cover?
I attended the protests on Saturday, May 30th. We met around 2PM at Federal Plaza (near Dearborn & Adams, I believe).
We then proceeded to march East on Adams, then North on State; toward Trump Tower. I finally ended up on the Wabash St. bridge.
We had a standoff on the bridge for what seemed like hours. Finally, around 8PM, we made our way to the only bridge left out of downtown to get home.
Q. What should we call it, a protest, riot, or both?
I would describe the entirety of Saturday as a demonstration. One that started with peaceful protests, then, amidst growing numbers of people & emotions, escalated to riot.
Q. What stood out to you the most?
A couple things. One from each side. On one side, for we the protesters, the unity & solidarity stood out most. To see that many people of all age, race, gender, identity come out to support was truly heart-warming.
On the side of the police, their unwillingness to show support OF ANY KIND stood out the most.
Over the weekend, videos began to surface of police officers in other states that were marching alongside protesters; simply showing their support. Maintaining the peace. However, in Chicago, while thousands of peaceful protesters were chanting “Say His Name” — I saw not a single officer even mouth the words. Not even an attempt to show their support for the obvious injustice. I just don’t understand why that has to be.
As for the looting/rioting/aggression/violence, I really can only speak for myself and my point of view. I feel as though you cannot tell someone how they are supposed to handle their feelings in times like these. I feel confident in my ability to articulate myself, and be heard in somewhat aggressive, but not violent, manners. However, not everyone may be this confident in themselves. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Some feel like they need to destroy the things that they feel symbolize the oppression brought unto them. It may be unfortunate, yet I totally understand.
One caveat though; I am against the damaging/looting of small businesses; they have more to lose. Whereas, Corporate & Franchise owned companies have government help and insurance to help replace goods. In a society where material things are valued so highly, and, at times, seem to take precedent over human life; maybe this will change that.
Q. Why did you go out?
I went out because, for me, this was the tipping point. This was the first protest I’ve physically attended. It was surreal. We, as a people, have attempted time after time to advocate for change, but never feel heard. I hope with the sheer mass of people that are supportive, along with the fear caused from the extremists causing violence, that we can finally be truly heard and steps can be taken to real change.