BLACK LIVES MATTER: SIDEWALK POWER
Updated: Jul 30
READ: Cathy Kozlowicz. Black Lives Matter supporters chalk 10 blocks of sidewalk in downtown Menomonee Falls to 'break the silence in the suburbs. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 15 June 2020.
In the midst of everything in the news media surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, I read an article about a 16 year old girl named Kira Bannister. She is from Menomonee Falls in Wisconsin. Throughout the first week of June 2020, she chalked sidewalks in support of this movement, with plans to continue this throughout the summer.
When I read this story all I could think about was how great the idea was, a way to peacefully insist for change. From the pictures drawn, to the quotes that have been chalked down, I think the message it sends out is hopeful for the future. Although Kira and the others in this project have been heckled by some bystanders and residents from that area, they will be continuing their efforts.
As different generations take part in this fight for social justice, the crisis, of how Blacks have been historically targeted by the system, is coming to a peak. A change of such a large magnitude in terms of questioning and challenging white privilege and supremacy has been long overdue and although Kira may be just one more kid trying to make a statement in her own way, that participation by each citizen is exactly what we need. Throughout the years the use of multimedia has proven to be a very powerful tool. Along with the coverage this story deserves I think a lot of people should be inspired by it.
Kira Bannister shared her favorite quote: "We are not trying to start a race war, we are trying to end it.” With that in mind I’d like to end this post by saying that change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, but we all need to be there for whoever needs our visible and vocal support in the moment. As much as some of us may want this to end quickly, some things must first be broken down. We must be impatiently patient. It may take a long time to fix the historically inherited problems of broken race relations.
~~ Kylie Rimes (Class of 2023)
For all the young Gators and artists who are using their creative advocacy to address social injustice and discrimination, please consider making a gift in their honor by clicking the button on the left. Thank you.