Over the past month, since George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25, protesters have come together almost every day to use their voice to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Millions of people have gathered in cities large and small — including in Tallahassee — to make their voices heard.While there is no data on the race and ethnicity of protesters, many people from different backgrounds have been standing right beside African Americans supporting the movement.
Lemaiiyah Moss, 21, a former student at Florida A&M who lives in Tallahassee, participated in her first protest at the Capitol this past May.
“I have never done anything so liberating and free as protesting,” the Miami native said. “We must stick together and fight for justice for our people. Enough is enough.”
Although it will not be an easy task, Moss is optimistic that justice is within reach.
The death of Floyd sparked everyone to no longer follow the stay at home order and demand legal action for officers involved in his death. Not only legal action for Floyd’s case, but for the many other innocent individuals who have been the victims of police brutality.
Jasmin Newsome, 22, spoke her truth on what life has been like as a college student in Tallahassee.
“For the past four years of me being in Tallahassee, I have witnessed my friends and myself be racially profiled for simply existing. There is no reason that the equality my ancestors marched for, we are still fighting for today,” Newsome said.
“Watching kids no older than 10 years old out here marching for their lives has brought tears to my eyes.It should not be like this,” she added.
Black Lives Matter can be a sensitive and uncomfortable topic for some, it is important that not only people partake in protests but that they exercise their right to vote.
Aniyah Gordon, 22, said it was hard growing up in Miami Gardens. He has seen how the police dealt with issues within their neighborhood.
“I have two younger brothers and I am scared for them everyday living as a Black male in America. It is scary, they are not even old enough to grasp everything that is going on which is even harder to explain,” Gordon said.
Tallahassee lost a 19-year-old member of Black Lives Matter earlier this month when Oluwatoyin Salau went missing and was found murdered. Her death has pushed the Tallahassee community to fight harder and not give up under any circumstances.
Moss has also participated in the Justice for “Toyin” protests following Salau’s death. “This protest hit differently because she was at the first protest I went to. She was so strong and you could hear the anger in her voice of how bad she wanted change,” Moss said.
As friends and family gathered to pay their respect, Moss noted that the fight for justice is far from finished.