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Despite turbulence, Daytona Beach,Fl residents show resilience in peaceful protest !

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  • Daytona Beach, Fl – May 30, 2020

 

In 2014, New York lost Eric Garner to the hands of police. Eric Garner was put in a choke hold by NYPD for allegedly selling unlicensed cigarettes. A crime that doesn’t hold a death sentence. Yet, this was the outcome for this father and family man. After protest, marches, and constant pressure it seemed things started to change. Fast forward to 2020, in Minneapolis, a man by the name of George Floyd would meet a very similar fate. It makes us wonder what will it take to truly get a change. To actually feel protected by police instead of uncertain. But before we dig deep, I’d like to point out an interesting observation that will show an uncanny and underlining truth about the state America and how it may have intensified.

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Daytona Beach,Fl held a peaceful protest led by Rell Black, a pivotal young man in the city’s moral & educational development along with being an important voice when it comes to injustices and black culture. Rell was apart of a large team that visited Houston,TX to deliver essential goods after the devastating hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. Even recently, Rell held a beach clean up the day after large crowds flooded the city for Memorial Day Weekend. This is only two of many examples that shows the extremes Rell has gone to to impute change.

I found the peaceful protest as they approached Beach St & ISB Blvd. As I approach I noticed a man jump out of a truck from the passenger side; a white man.  The truck carried a boat behind it and the boat carried a huge Trump flag. The man snatched the flag off his boat and put it inside of the truck before he passed the protest. At first it didn’t make sense to me. How does that even correlate to the situation and why would he want to hide a Trump flag as he passed a protest about a man being killed by the police? It hit me later. As I sat in the median on ISB Blvd, to get a unique vantage point take a photo, a man drove by in a white pick-up truck flicking off the crowd of protestors. It sort of hurt my feelings to know that someone, who could potentially be my neighbor, had such harsh feelings towards the situation. As I stared at the truck while it passed guess what sticker he had stamped on the back of his truck? A Trump sticker.

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Before I give my opinion I’d like to point out that the protest was one of the most beautiful protest I’ve ever seen. It was diverse. It warmed my heart to see that it wasn’t just a black and white thing. Some people just want what’s right and see the obvious inequalities. Social media and the new age of technology definitely intensified situations that would have ultimately gone unseen or unheard.  Which brings me to my earlier point. In order for a man to hide his Trump flag as he passed a protest about a black man being killed by a cop, yet again,  says to me that he felt that Trump flag held a deeper meaning. Which was that it fueled racism and the death of George Floyd was fueled by racism. Which is a very sad sentiment towards the state of this country. I mean, if the country’s leader made racist feel more comfortable what does that really say?

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Despite this saddening observation this protest gave me great vibes. There was so much passion there. So much love. I was proud for our city. I’ll be honest, I was discouraged moments before I joined the protest. Wondering how things could actually change. This protest gave me a new outlook. A new motivation. We’re definitely lucky and blessed to have leaders such as Rell Black, along with other great leaders.

The picture above is Rell Black being carried away by ambulance after having his foot run over. It happened moments after a man yelled, “They’re trying to hit us with their cars now!”. Yet, the look on his face isn’t troubled at all. It seemed that we are used to being resilient during times like this. This is the strength I felt.

This scene happened after I left. When I was there things were pleasant. I had a photoshoot to do at 1pm so I left the protest early. Some of the protestors said that they had been marching for hours already when I arrived around 12. My photoshoot ended around 4pm. I went to WAWA on the corner of ISB Blvd and people were still out protesting. I was literally amazed at the perseverance they had towards making sure this message was heard. Despite the heat, despite the discouragement, despite the rage from racist, they didn’t let up. The beauty of some people is something to really awe upon, at times. Big shout out to Kale Cafe (116 N Beach St, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114) and the entire family for handing out cold smoothies for protestors to drink.

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Don’t be confused. I started this article off rough because I wanted you to understand the resilience of our people. George Floyd can’t get anything from us physically now. But his family still has to push through in this tough time here on Earth. This is why it is so necessary that we have situations such as these peaceful protest. It is to constantly remind the people that we can’t let up. The moment we ease up is the moment they feel they can do as they feel to us. But the people show resilience every time. If you don’t believe me, just go back to Rell’s picture above moments after his foot was crushed.

Thank you to all the people that dedicated their time for this moment. Keep the fight alive and continue to apply pressure!

 

Written : Bruce Walton Jr

Please show your support for the Primetime Gamechangers

By: Keidra Ponder

I had the opportunity to speak with the Primetime Gamechangers’ Assistance Coach, Houston Cadette. Like many good men, he is an active father in his little athlete’s life. This an eight on eight spring tackle football team composed of energetic 9,10 & 11year olds. The Coaches William Bell and Bobby Candidate are very passionate about their players, often offering assistance to the parents who can’t afford the fees.

The Coaches have started a gofundme page to rally contributions for the players. As we know it’s many talented individuals who just need that little bit of hope to keep them going, please donate to their campaign. Your donation will go towards the player’s fee of $160.00 for needed equipment such as; jerseys, padded pants and pride packs consisting of team shorts and shirts. Assistant Coach Cadette said, “We really want to make this a great experience, looking good makes you feel good and feeling good helps you play good.” 

Click the link below to donate to the Primetime Gamechangers equipment and uniform drive;

https://www.gofundme.com/equipment-and-uniform-drive?pc=fm_co_campmgmt_m&rcid=r01-154929953923-7b5d3cd493e14161

 

Short story; “I’d do anything for you”

“I just want to run away!” I said getting into the car and slamming the door. My mom and I had been arguing a lot lately, but it’s been like this since my dad died.
“Arguing with your mom again?” I nodded at his question. Drew was my childhood best friend, he was there for me when my dad died. We were like 2 peas in a pod. “You really want to run away?” He looked down at me and his eyes softened up.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a plan.” I said laughing. “No really I kind of did want to run away but I know my mom would fall apart without me. Even though we argued a lot I love her.”
“Be up around 7, we’re going out.” Drew stated, I didn’t question him. He was the outgoing type, all his plans were fun. I nodded before getting out the car, I walked up to the front door of my house and took a moment before entering.
I opened the door and walked in, my mom wasn’t in sight. I made my way to my room and closed then locked the door. I had plans to go out with Jen on this warm Friday night but my mom ruined it for me. I was in no mood to be around anyone, I took my phone out my pocket and cancelled my plans with her. Once I sent the message I got my towel ready to go take a shower. Even though it was 6pm I wanted to shower and sleep. But I know I’d probably stay up for a while. I walked out to the hall way, my mom appeared from the stairway. I stopped in my tracks and looked at her, her eyes were blood-shot red, she didn’t even notice me as she continued to her room.
After my shower I locked myself in my room with a few snacks and binged watched some shoes on my computer. I felt myself drifting asleep, but before I closed my eyes I set an alarm for 6:30AM. I knew Drew was coming to get me at 7. He makes me happy, I’m glad we’re friends. I smiled to myself and fell asleep.
The next morning I woke up from my alarm, I walked over to my closet and picked out my outfit for the day. I settled on a graphic tee, black leather jacket, blue jeans and checker board vans. Once I was done getting dressed Drew called and said he was outside. I quietly opened my door and walked out I passed my mom room and felt a twinge of pain. She could use this Saturday to herself, I thought as I walked down the stairs then out the door. I ran to Drew car. “Where to?” I asked excitedly.
“Calm down, you’ll see,” he said backing out my driveway.
Driving down the street I sing along to the radio, “you’re so precious when you smile.” It seemed like we were driving for hours, but I knew where we were. Drew parked the car and I got out and ran to the beach. Drew ran after me, once we got to the beach we watched the sunrise. “I needed this, thank you.” I said looking at him.
“That’s not why I brought you here.” He said looking down at me. “I like you, a lot.”
Woah I didn’t see that coming. “Drew.” I said laughing, I covered my mouth. He grabbed my wrist and looked at me with a stern look. “You’re hurting me.” I managed to say.
“Sorry.” He said letting go, I took a step back. “But I am serious.”
“Drew I don’t see you as more than a friend.”
“But we can run away together.” He said stepping closer to me.
“Boy you are crazy. Take me home.” I said turning to walk away.
He grabbed my arms and looked at me, his face was red. This wasn’t the Drew I knew, I yanked my arm back and ran. He was trailing me and it was hard to run in sand. I managed to get to the sidewalk before I felt Drew tackle me. I hit my head against the concrete, I felt my body go cold and my vision went blurry, everything turned black.
I was starting to get my vision back, still a little blurry though. I checked out my surroundings, I was in a motel room strapped to a chair. I looked out the window and the sun was starting to set, what’s going on?! I wiggled in my chair, but my hands were secure with duck tape so were my feet. I thought about yelling for help but Drew walked out the bathroom.
“What’s going on?” I screamed.
“You were trying to leave me.” He said leaning against the wall. I’m confused. “Here’s the thing. I confessed my undying love for you and you tried to run away. I had plans for us to run away together.”
“I never wanted this! This is kidnap!” I yelled, while he was talking I managed to get my hands free.
“But you said you wanted to run away.” He said rubbing his forehead; he was starting to get upset.
“You are right.” I said as he looked at me sideways. “Can you get me a warm towel so I can wipe this blood off my forehead?”
“I knew you would understand.” He said walking into the bathroom.
Once I heard the water running I un-wrapped the tape from ankles. I got up and looked around the room, where is my phone?! It was nowhere in sight. I heard the water stop and my heart pounded. I grabbed the chair in hand, ready to attack. Once he came into view I threw the chair at him. I ran towards the door grabbing a knife on my way out. Lucky for me he left all my clothes on. I opened the door and looked around as I ran down the stairs. Where are we? As I was running I noticed we were surrounding by woods. I slowed down and looked behind me, drew was tailing me.
I ran into the woods, maybe I can lose him in here I thought. I hid behind a tree to catch my breath; I heard leaves crush beneath his weight as I held the knife tight. As Drew walked up, I came into view and held the knife out in front of him. He held his hands up in surrender.
“I just want to go home.” I Said out of breath.
“I’m afraid that’s not possible.” He said tackling me to the ground; I dropped the knife on my way down. “I just want to be with you.” He said choking me.
I gasped for air as his grip got tighter; I tried to move but all of his weight was on me. I searched around for the knife and found it. While losing air I got the knife into my hand, I plunged the knife into his chest. He gasped for air and fell onto his back. I started coughing because I could finally breathe again. I got to my knees and stumbled backwards away from Drew. He was still gasping for air. I slowly approaching him with tears in my eyes, I stabbed him in the heart.
“I loved you and…you stabbed me.” He said, he started to cough up blood. I laid his head in my lap and starred down at him. His eyes filled with tears and I wiped them.
“Come on we have to get you the hospital.” I said wiping my own tears, I looked around and saw the motel. “Where are we?”
“Stop.” He said grabbing my hand. “I won’t make it, just know I love you and I’d do anything for you.”
“You have to make it; I don’t know what I’d do without you. I need you!” I sobbed as his eyes started to slowly close. I cried harder as I heard him take his last breath, and then his eyes closed…. “I’ll always love you too.” I whispered.

By: Kamaria Giles