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Days of Anguish, Days of Hope

Scenes from history-in-the-making protests in DC

Days of Anguish, Days of Hope

Someday, we’ll know whether the street protests around the US that followed the police killing of George Floyd accomplished anything concrete: law-enforcement reform, legal changes, measures to address structural racism. But in front of the White House and across the region in May and June, the fact of the demonstrations was the story. And it was a surprising one. Over the course of those weeks, the scenes evolved, growing larger, more unified, more diverse, and possibly more upbeat as the days progressed. The end of the story may not yet be written, but the action on our streets, and the reckoning that came with it, has already provided Washingtonians with a heady sense of history in the making. Here’s what and who it looked like.

Click an image to open a slideshow or scroll through.

Photograph by Evy Mages

Isabelle Riley, pediatric resident, 27

“This event has formed because of years of suppressed rage about institutionalized racism. In medicine we are not exempt, something that we see in emergency rooms and in every facet of medicine. I am here to support people of color and to provide first aid.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Betty Jackson, federal employee, 54

“Although George Floyd did not mean a lot to somebody, he means a whole lot to the entire world. Nobody expected this.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Matt Goodrich, 37

“I don’t know what it is like to be a person of color. I have to give up some of my privilege for them to have a life.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Mango, 9

“It’s really overwhelming, and it is really amazing”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Dagoberto Acevedo, 24

“I have been called to serve the people and what that means is risking your health and safety because we are expected to protect and defend.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Yinka Onayemi, Georgetown law student, 25

“This is much more important for me then to stay inside and protect myself from Covid. I think it gives us a great opportunity to have time to think, process and reflect. Time we don’t normally have”

Photograph by Jane Recker

Mary Pope, DC

“If I’m willing to fight, I don’t wanna go out here and have someone else take my life. I know a lot of people care, I just wish a lot of other people would care.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Yetunde, artist/student

“I feel like I have seen the city come together.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Mohammed Kamara, 57

“Over 400 years of slavery. Come on. Coronavirus or not, I have to be here.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Sheridan Wood, Consultant, 23

“I just feel like I am part of something that is bigger then myself. The black community needs our help and we have to fight for them.”

Photograph by Marisa Kashino

Dorothy

“It’s way past time that we take a stand.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Stephanie, Elisha, and Renault Nwokeuku, Waldorf

Renault: “We’ve got seven more [kids] at home. Four boys and four girls. Them seeing this–this is the most united this country has been over an event in a while. It’s a terrible tragedy, but the response is what helps to maintain hope. Everyone feels like there’s a need to change.”

Photograph by Jane Recker

Alisoun Meehan (left) with her mother, Susan Meehan

Susan: “We in the District are more subject than citizen. It’s doubly important that we come out and protest when things need to be changed.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Paul Johnson, mediator, 45, with daughter Isabel, 3

“It makes you feel powerful being out here.”

Photograph by Jane Recker

Robert, Gia, Anthony, and Ciara Grady, Waldorf

Gia: “We came so my children could have the experience of standing up for something and advocating for themselves. If things don’t get better they could be the next victims.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Lisa Campbell, occupational therapist, Baltimore

“It is a humbling feeling being out here.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Anslee Smith, 20

“I wanted to see what everyone was talking about and experience it for myself.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Anthony Valdes, 14

“I like coming here. Good energy. I come here to be part of the protest and of history.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Leala-Lael Pickett, 17

“I refuse to learn to live with oppression.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Mericko Marlowe, with his family

“I am still keeping my social distance because I am aware the virus has not gone away yet.”

Photograph by Marisa Kashino

Steven Harvey and Lisa Hack, Silver Spring

Photograph by Evy Mages

Mimi

“I am angry and appalled by the behavior of the police.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Christian Stevenson, Albert Einstein High School graduate

“Being here feels amazing, the best feeling I have had in a long time. Of course I am worried about corona. Everyone should be worried, but there are bigger matters at hand. The world has not achieved human equality. We want it and we yearn for it.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Monique Olomidun

“With every breath of life, there exists hope. Hope that powers that be will become conscious.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Mary Olson, government contractor

“It feels like a historic moment to be here and it is happening in DC with all its history. And today is my birthday.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Edward Galiber, 64

“I will look back and think: I was there. This is the watershed moment that changed everything.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Anne Hughes, Connecticut state representative

“The power lies with the people. I ran for office after the Women’s March and won. Now I am out here in support of this movement. Stay in the streets until we get meaningful change.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Marcie Browne, behavioral therapist, 29

“It’s very nice to see everyone together but I would like to see more focus on the goal of Black Lives Matter DC, which is to defund the police.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Orisegun Olomigun, artist, 69

“With every breath of life, there exists hope. Hope that powers that be will become conscious.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Ebony Ayling

“I have a young boy, four years old, and I want him to know that he will always have equal rights in this world. I am protesting because I want him to have a better education at any university and that he can be anything that he wants to be.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Saphan Pickett, Nutrition educator and farmer, 38

“I wanted to come to protest but I had to work and I felt life was separating me from this historic moment. It’s calm and peaceful now and I can still feel the energy and I know it’s not over. At a certain point you have to choose. Both corona and systemic oppression are a risk to our health and safety.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Sekayi Fernandes, performer

“I am happy to see people standing up and using their voices and their bodies to bring change and to put action behind worlds. On the other hand, the momentum has died down and it’s become commercialized rather than based on improving the lives of black and brown people. I want to go back to the revolution.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Bradley Thomas, 66

“I’ve been involved in protests and marches since my twenties.”

Photograph by Evy Mages

Krysten Thomas, Georgetown law student, DNC delegate for DC, 28

“My dad used to bring me when I was young. It has now come full circle.”

Photograph by Michael Schaffer

Jordan Glaze, 21, Student at George Mason

“We’re out here to let people see us, let people here us, and know that we matter…If you’ve never faced oppression and if you’ve never faced racism personally, then you should be speaking up for the people that have faced oppression and have faced racism. Because I have both a white and a black family and it is a tail of two cities. I have one family that feels one way about something and another family that feels completely opposite. So we’re out here just to make some change. It sucks that we can’t pass a bill right away or we can’t go to legislation. Marching is the only option we have right now.”

Photographs of Pope, Meehan family, and Grady by Jane Recker

Photograph of Dorothy, Harvey/Hack, and Nwokeuku family by Marisa M. Kashino

Photograph of Glaze by Michael Schaffer

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