Show of Solidarity

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Title

Show of Solidarity

Catalog Entry

The artifact above was taken by a local photographer, Dan Holmes. This photo was taken in Hopedale, Massachusetts, and shows an active protest that took place for the Black Lives Matter movement. This picture shows Jackson Tahmoush, a resident of Hopedale, kneeling on the ground along with several other people of the community and surrounding towns.

Back on May 5, 2020, George Floyd died. This tragic event inspired protests all over Minneapolis and also spread by word and social media to surrounding states, as well as the entire country and other countries. As a matter of fact, “about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks," which “would make the recent protests the largest movement in the country’s history” (Buchanan et. al.). George Floyd's death was very controversial, however many people throughout the world had a belief that what had happened was not okay considering the way that the arrest took place as well as how the officers involved reacted. Although a horrible event, May 5th, 2020, changed the world completely. 

During this march that took place during June, marchers wore faces masks, held signs and posters, and also yelled out chants for everyone to hear. When the participants got to the field where everyone gathered, everyone “knelt for nine minutes, many with one fist raised, to mark the approximate time an officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck” (Bosma). After this happened, several people took turns speaking while being in the center of everyone for over an hour. The people who spoke decided to talk about their reactions, opinions, and even, for some, their daily struggles with racism and discrimination. This whole protest all started by Tahmoush posting on social media, which eventually turned into hundreds of people around the area taking a strong march throughout the town of Hopedale to show our solidarity with the movement and protest of the tragic event that took place just recently before. As “Jackson Tahmoush told the assembled crowd, shouting to be heard by those in the back, several yards away. ‘We’re all here for the same reason…it’s not politics. It's human rights” (Bosma). The reason I chose this specific quotation from the article discussing the Hopedale protest is because it made me really focus on the matter that all the controversy that was going on was becoming complete BS to me. I had heard so many people, specifically the older generation, talk about how this was all politics, and that George's death was all for politics, considering the election was just a few months around the corner. It is sad to think that people think that way and do not simply feel as if it happened because of bad cops and racism combined.

The main reason why I decided to include this specific artifact was because I was there at this exact protest. Being from Milford, just one town away from Hopedale, I have grown up with a lot of diversity around me. When I heard what happened and the news about the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd by police brutality, it really angered me. I do not want to keep continuing living in a world where racism is shown and projected every day. As a white teenager, it is hard to relate to those that have gone through discrimination because of their race because I have not. I chose to go to this protest because Black lives matter to me, and I wanted to bring attention to the fact that human rights should be given to everyone. No one is different on the inside just because of the color of their skin, nor should they be treated differently because of how they look compared to someone of a different race. I wanted to connect my experience, and I think by choosing this artifact I was able to do that. I was able to show what happened throughout one of my own communities and allow others to get a feeling of how different towns handled the riots, protests, and overall backlash of George Floyd's death. Thankfully, the protest here in Hopedale that I went to was peaceful unlike other places in the United States, where things became violent.

One major thing that connects to my exhibition is that cultural heritage was created throughout the protest. This artifact shows several people kneeling for a movement that had stricken many throughout the world. What people do not see is that this movement happened with just a touch of a button on social media. One post was made about it, and the next thing you know it was given huge attention across the entire Hopedale community as well as the surrounding towns. So many people heard about it because of people from all generations sharing the post and details of the march. This is showing cultural heritage because it's allowing for both the past and present to come together. The past is all of the discrimination, racism, and police brutality that has happened throughout history. Because of the history of all these, many people became fed up with it and wanted to fix the problem and try to make a change in the world. Thankfully, because of technology and social media, this was able to happen. If there was no social media or anyone who had cared, then George Floyd's death would not have been as broadcasted. I believe that all these protests that happened made a huge change throughout the world when it comes to racism and police brutality. Hopefully, the world continues to see this issue as a problem every day and not just a trend, because Black lives will always matter. 

Bibliography

Bosma, Alison. “Show of solidarity.” Milford Daily News, Milford Daily https://www.milforddailynews.com/story/news/local/2020/06/04/hundreds-march-for-justice-in-hopedale/42437473/

Buchanan, Larry, et. al. “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History.” The New York Times, 3 July 2020, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/03/us/george-floyd-protests-crowd-size.html.

Artifact Owner

Daily News and Wicked Local

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Leah Gorham, Student, Fitchburg State University

ALFA Mentor

Gail Hoar

Photographer(s)

Dan Holmes

Citation

“Show of Solidarity,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed September 27, 2022, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/162.

Output Formats

Social Bookmarking