White allies work with Black Lives Matter activists


Over the past two years racial tensions have grown between the white community, African Americans and the police forming a movement called Black Lives Matter. Those tensions have spilled over into action with more white Americans discovering their own power in dismantling racism and speaking out against police brutality in communities of color.

One way white allies have sprung into action is by standing with Black Lives Matter activists. Recently, a demonstration was held in Milwaukee to address racial concerns and outrage over police shootings of unarmed Black men in Louisiana and Minneapolis.

According to the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service:

As sirens blare through the warm summer air on a recent Milwaukee night, a group of about 40 demonstrators gathered on the corner of North 7th and West Ring streets near a pedestrian overpass spanning the I-43 freeway.

One of those demonstrators was 9-year-old Nya Bryant, who accompanied her parents to the protest; it was her first. “You know, they see the images just like we do,” said Jerome Bryant, Nya’s father, of his four children.

Bryant, who is black, said he and Nya had “deep conversations” about the recent killings of black men by police, during which he took the opportunity to “explain the hurtful truth to her.”

The demonstration was a collaboration between Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Milwaukee and the Overpass Light Brigade (OLB) in solidarity with the family of Jay Anderson, a 25-year-old black man who was killed by police in June while sitting in his car at a Wauwatosa park. Other chapters of SURJ, a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice, held solidarity demonstrations across the country to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which has called for the end of police violence against black people.

The demonstrators, diverse in age and race, displayed the words “Black Lives Matter” for drivers traveling north on the expressway using OLB’s signature lighted letters. Lane Hall, a member of the Overpass Light Brigade, called the demonstration “a celebration, and a vigil, and a witness.”

For more, visit Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.