Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
There have been several Justice 4 Black Lives rallies in Winnipeg during the past month, beginning on June 5 when an estimated 15,000 supporters gathered at the Manitoba legislative grounds before marching to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
That was followed by a series of smaller events for eight consecutive days between June 22 and 29.
The Free Press asked three Black photographers to choose one of their images from the rallies and explain why it resonates with them.
Here we stand at yet another tipping point. Although not the first to be murdered for the colour of his skin, Emmett Till’s death and open-casket funeral sparked our modern-day civil rights movement. Trayvon Martin’s death and the subsequent acquittal of his killer gave birth to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, after witnessing the suffocation of George Floyd for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, we find ourselves here. A place where, for the first time ever, people from all 50 continental U.S. states — as well as across Canada and the globe — are gathering to protest Floyd’s death and countless other incidents fuelled by racism.
Yet, amid it all, we continue to lose more lives. We are then left with nothing but tears for the continued injustice. How much longer must we march in the streets and scream before we are heard?
In the words of James Baldwin, "How much time do you want for your progress?"
— Barry St. Louis
We live in a time where the things Black folx have always known were happening are now being recorded for the whole world to see. This has led to a movement demanding justice.
We should never forget that this movement exists because of Black womxn. Black womxn are the driving force for change within the culture. Black womxn are brilliant, they are powerful, they are revolutionaries. Listen to Black womxn.
— Travis Ross
I’m a Deaf freelance photographer here in Winnipeg. In early June, I had the opportunity to photograph the BLM rally and it was a touching, beautiful experience.
Over 15,000 people attended this event, all sharing one thing in common: having enough of oppression, discrimination, and police brutality among other forms of violence.
I took photographs of the many different signs made by protesters, but one in particular resonated with me. It read, "your activism is meaningless unless action proves #blacklivesmatter."
We live in a racist system that has existed for a long time. Nothing has changed. We can complain all we want, but nothing will change until we stop seeing others solely based on the colour of their skin.
We need to see people of colour as human beings, extending the same compassion to them as anyone else. Police need to be better trained to understand this, to be able to better communicate instead of resorting to brutality.
As long as we continue to see people solely by the colour of their skin, this situation will never change. So, let’s break that cycle and ensure we all, collectively, follow through.
— Leonardo Salgado
Updated on Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 10:06 PM CDT: Removes the word favourite from subhead at photo editor's request.
The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.
Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.