| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Features

In their own words: Organizers recount Memphis' massive Black Lives Matter protest one year later

 
In the largest spontaneous protest in Memphis history, more than 1,000 people shut down the Hernando DeSoto Bridge in a demonstration of Black Lives Matter.

The people of Memphis argue that the story of the Memphis bridge protest on July 10, 2016, is an important one. It must not be twisted.
Stories can be fragile. People can jumble them, overtake them and twist them. Told again and again, the details can be exaggerated, emphasized or erased.
 
But the people of Memphis argue that the story of the Memphis bridge protest on July 10, 2016, is an important one. It must not be twisted.

In Dr. Martin Luther King’s final book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, he wrote, “A final victory is an accumulation of many short-term encounters. To lightly dismiss a success because it does not usher in a complete order of justice is to fail to comprehend the process of full victory. It underestimates the value of confrontation and dissolves the confidence born of partial victory by which new efforts are powered.”




And so in order to tell that story of that hot night, that “short-term encounter,” MLK50 has collected the stories of people who were there. Above, you can hear them tell their story in their own words.

Thank you to the following people for participating: Memphis pastor and activist Earle Fisher; Paul Garner of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center; Nour Hantouli, community activist; Shahidah Jones of the Official Black Lives Matter chapter; mother and protester Porschia Scruggs; Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings; protester Chanel Trice; and organizer Jayanni Webster.

This piece was originally published on July 9, 2016 at MLK50.com
 

Read more articles by Molly Mulroy.

Molly Mulroy is a recent graduate with a B.A. from Loyola University New Orleans. A native Memphian, she's had a long-standing interest in social justice issues and enjoys storytelling in any form. Her recent podcast Outside covers the stories of four formerly incarcerated people from Louisiana and their struggles with reentry.
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts