She’s White. I’m Black. And We Marched in Ferguson Together

BlogHer Original Post

JANICE PERSON: THIS IS FERGUSON

There is something missing in the news coverage of Ferguson, Missouri, that a few of us can see because we have been on the ground. There seems to be an interest in getting the big story out first, but everyday folks who are coming and going from Ferguson see and experience very different images and get very different feelings.

I have been a couple of times to “Ground Zero” recently. A few days ago, I went with my friend Danyelle—and I have to say, it was nice to be with a friend on my second trip, mainly because talking through what I see helps me process things.

So, what did "Ebony and Ivory" see on Monday?

Sure, we saw the big protests, and we participated. I even created a sign to remind people that we need to ask the big questions; not only about Michael Brown's death but also about how we as a society view and treat young black men. We saw the National Guard and Anderson Cooper. Clergy and the Black Panthers. There has been a lot written, but being there is nothing like what you may have seen on CNN, MSNBC, and the live streams.

What the media isn’t showing is the teacher I stood next to, who simply was asking for a better way for the kids in her community. Her son held a sign that gripped me as he simply asked "Am I next?" He looked so much like a kid my nephew grew up with. This is why I go to Ferguson—for the kids who have to worry about every move if they get stopped at the wrong place at the wrong time.

When you go to Ferguson, you will meet folks who will hop in a car with you because you know how to get from the police station to the looted Quik Trip. As we drove over, we were talking about this and that. Can you believe this young couple was in St Louis for their honeymoon? Yes, and they walked into our world, and into Danyelle's car!

the couple in the car

The newlywed wife carefully selected her brightest and happiest clothes to wear for the day, and kept a matching neon sign overhead most of the day. We spent a couple of hours with them, and they were awesome.

As we walked down West Florissant in the 90-degree heat, a group of people walked by, breaking apart a case of water, offering bottles to others on the street.

handing out water in Ferguson

Members of the clergy smiled and nodded. And we chatted with a mom who was trying to get home with her two young kids. She as dealing with the fact that traffic was severely limited in the neighborhood, and there were no buses for a mile or two.

This is Ferguson.

For most of the people I have met in Ferguson, this is a complicated story. They know justice and peace are intertwined, and they want both. I don't know that we can get the answers we are searching for, but I do know having folks like Danyelle and me out there, making ourselves heard, calling our elected officials and more, is a good start.

You don't have to go to Ferguson with Danyelle and me to have your voice heard alongside us! Make your voice heard and felt from wherever you are.

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