Protest Speaker Quincy Ogunfeitimi (Spencer, MA)

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Title

Protest Speaker Quincy Ogunfeitimi (Spencer, MA)

Catalog Entry

Standing on the lawn in the center of town in North Brookfield, Quincy Ogunfeitimi did his part in a call to action for Black Lives Matter in his community. His words were simple and demanded change, “What I'm asking for is equality..”

The condition of the artifact entitled “Call to Action” exists in many ways. The illustration selected to bear the title page shows Quincy Ogunfeitimi, of Spencer Ma, (a bordering town to the Brookfields) speaking into the bull horn at the first black lives matter protest in the Brookfields. Quincy Ogunfeitimi was one of many speakers that day who shared their voices loudly to serve as a call to action for our community. The selected image contains the important symbol of the bull horn. The bull horn serves the important purpose of raising someone's voice just as a call to action raises people's voices, making it an important symbol in this image. Although this is the selected artifact to represent “A Call to Action.” This concept exists in many other ways. 

Another Significant figure who participated heavily in the call to action for the community in The Brookfields is a young man named Fitzgerald Pucci, of north brookfield. Fitz, as he goes by, is another example of an outspoken citizen who called for action. As the citizens marched down the street on June 2nd, in north brookfield, Fitz led the crowd with chants and a drum beat from a drum he carried around his chest. When asked to reflect on that day Fitz said, “There were so many moments during that day, one of the most powerful to me was the sudden singing of amazing grace. I've never seen something so powerful happen so organically!” The commonality between the goal of these two men is clear, to bring awareness to the issue of Black Lives Matter, and to help raise the voices of others by demonstrating their leadership.

Although the aforementioned leaders serve as perfect examples of a call to action, it is not always a single individual, there are many examples of media, art or even martyrdom that serves the purpose of a call to action. People can be compelled to take action from many different things. There is a deep history of groups taking action in response to powerful words, or tragic events. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” is a prime example of motivation from powerful words. Although King was already a prominent figure in the civil rights movement, his speech resonated with people with its simple message of wanting equality for all. An article published by the Library Of Congress, said in part “From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, to a crowd of 250,000. An eloquent call to action, the speech emphasized his belief that the movement would create a society in which character, rather than color, prevailed.” This quote shows that what King sought to do was simplify the message of the civil rights movement and made his goal clear. The powerful words of King's speech are solidified in our history because it represented so much more than just the words he shared, it represented the call to action for black people in America to live equally. 

More recently, there was a major call to action but this time it was not in the form of words. The deaths of many black people at the hands of the police including Brianna Taylor, and George Floyd made national news this summer and served as a call to action of its own. Although this call cant be put into a slogan of a few words, or a speech was just as powerful as any call to action in history because people were able to witness the injustices with their own eyes. Although this call to action involves no loud voice yelling for change, the anger, disappointment and sadness that many felt in response to the unjust death of George Floyd made it one of the loudest calls to action this century. In an article published in Voice Of America News a closer look is taken at the impact the death of George Floyd had on the Black Lives Matter movement and American life as a whole. Although it brought about action in a completely different way then the speech of Martin Luther King motivated people to take action, the unjust death of George Floyd was also able to also motivated hundreds of thousands. Although it came at the ultimate price for Mr. Floyd, the awareness of police brutality that his death brought in America will continue to echo in the ears of americans for decades to come. 

There is no doubt that the powerful words of activists such as Malcom X or Martin Luther king inspired massive amounts of action. For hundreds of years people have expressed their descent by raising their voices in protest and under a strong enough call to action, amazing things can be accomplished. The voice of many stands as an example of what the power of unity can accomplish. When reflecting on huge historical events that brought with them real change, the common thread is the call to action. It can be simply put that without a call to action oftentimes the word of the people is never expressed. For this reason, the significance of a call to action to a protest is massive. Even when observing only a piece of the much larger black lives matter movement, such as how it affected a small Massachusetts community, it is still important to recognize the calls to action that were able to make change. 

Bibliography

Lemaire, Sandra. “How George Floyd's Death Has Impacted American Life.” Voice of America, June 2020, 26, www.voanews.com/usa/race-america/how-george-floyds-death-has-impacte d-american-life.

Ring, Kim. “Brookfield Rally for Black Lives Draws a Crowd.” Worcester Telegram4 June 2020, www.telegram.com/story/news/2020/06/04/north-brookfield-rally-for-black lives-matter-draws-crowd/113743278/.

“Today in History - January 15.” The Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/january-15/#:~:text=From%20the%20st eps%20of%20the,%2C%20rather%20than%20color%2C%20prevailed. 

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Ethan Hines, Student, Fitchburg State University

ALFA Mentor

Gail Hoar

Citation

“Protest Speaker Quincy Ogunfeitimi (Spencer, MA),” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed August 10, 2022, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/195.

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