By: Jimmie Sykes
The untimely death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sent a shock wave across the country. It was presented with a build up of emotion after the news of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Dreasjon Reed, who were all killed prior in disturbing fashion.
With all 50 states engaging in protests, 2020 took a turn towards foreseeable unrest. A fight for human rights and justice is on the brink.
Footage of the Minnesota Protest following George Floyd's murder.
Credits: Slimbo Productions
The TRiiBE's general assignment reporter Matt Harvey talked with Bekoe to discuss his experience covering the from line unrest in Downtown Chicago. Since the start, The TRiiBE has been doing a great job on covering the ground-level protests and aftermath of what rippled through the city. You can check out Matt and Bekoe's interview on Vocalo below via Spotify.
Safety concerns following the unrest forced a program supplying over 12.5 million meals to pause. Many businesses were ransacked and over 1500 people were arrested following the events over the past week. Demonstrations of all sorts went on across the city. Despite the results, it was evident that the silence was now broken. There’s no going back now without change, regardless of how things played out.
Chicago is one of the larger cities across the nation that is faced with this divide. Chicago Public Schools food distribution program, the nation’s third largest of such, suffered a day-long suspension. Even with the program suspended, Chicagoans came to serve a purpose. All hands were on deck, all ages were active in this push.
Chicago artist and songwriter Ano Banks gave thought of his experience helping out in the food drive and peaceful demonstrations going on in Chicago.
“In this generation of activism, we will finds way to feed each other before begging underfunded systems to handle the problem,” said Banks.
Banks gave praise to the younger generation and individuals who stepped up for a better cause that was presented. He played his part through donating, spreading awareness of the cause, and being there in the physical to stand side-by side with the residents of Chicago.
“A different type of activism is going on where we’re trying to supply more than just food. There were masks, sanitizers, feminine products, and more given out,” said Banks.
People from all walks of life came together to shift the narrative in response to growing tired of police brutality. A “Southside Clean-Up” was provided on June 3 but now continues all throughout the city. The plan is to help with the damage cause after havoc riddled through the communities. Everyone from community leaders, elected officials, and residents were involved in the process.
Tynetta Hill-Muhammad, a Community Organizer and student at the University of Illinois in Chicago, handled business for those in need across the city. Through her efforts, she gathered 75-100 pounds of food and supplies and raised $1000 in a day.
Hill-Muhammad partnered up with Pilsen's Healthy Hood Chicago for the “We Got Us” South Side Pop Up. On Wednesday, Tynetta and Healthy Hood Chicago teamed up to help feed over 250 people in the city. Essential supplies such as canned goods, dried fruits, food for infants, and toiletries were given out to those in need.
“This will not be a moment in time, this moment will turn in to a movement,” said Hill-Muhammad.
As stated, she surely kept the effort going Thursday. Hill-Muhammad and Healthy Hood Chicago fed 750 more people with the help of Sean Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop. She's continuing her push with "We Got Us" on 92nd and Cottage Grove today.
Here's another helpful link to finding food across Chicago provided by Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Throughout the pandemic and unrest, it’s more clear now than ever that we’re in this together. Change will come with the best foot forward. This act of change is a call for everyone.
Chicago residents didn’t sit back and wait. They didn't fall underrepresented. Although immediate action was taken, there's still a lot of work to do across the city.Social Works Chicago, who serviced the South and West Side of Chicago with meals, is another movement to note.
More acts of awareness will be demonstrated, and more volunteer services will come about. This culturally-rich city will show up through times like this.
A plan of action resulted in 2nd degree murder charges for Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd. It resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit and FBI investigation for Breonna Taylor, who would've turned 27 today. It resulted in a probable cause of murder in the case of Ahmaud Arbery.
Although it's a step in the right direction, it's fair to quote Robbins native KeKe Palmer on this one.
"That ain't enough for me."