Written and photographed by Samantha Brooks, Photography student and activist at SCAD Atlanta
Our country is in a fragile state. Foreigners have no safe place, our irrational fear of a religion affects innocent lives who are in desperate need of saving, no one in our government seems to know a woman’s worth, and the lives of Black people in our country are being taken and belittled. Our neighbors are being labeled, judged, and isolated. And what are we doing about it? I get it, it’s hard to stand up for something. Politics are messy and arguing with ignorance is impossible. If you speak up, you’re whining. If you march, you’re rioting. If you stay silent, you’re submitting. How can you win?
“Politics are messy and arguing with ignorance is impossible”
On January 21st I had the honor of marching alongside women who have fought for my rights for decades. For my first march, I got to follow behind Congressman John Lewis. (If you don’t know who this is, I highly suggest educating yourself on a man who is continuously fighting for your basic human rights.) This march changed me. I am a devout follower of Christ. But I felt safer, better taken care of, and more loved by the strangers I marched alongside of than when I’m with the majority of the “Christians” that have been placed in my life for years now. This march was about so much more than equal pay, the rights to my reproductive system, and being told I am just as capable as any man is. This march was so much more than hoping to be a part of the reason that my nieces and and my daughters don’t ever have to be scared of their president grabbing their genitalia or have to fight for the same wage as their brothers. This march was for refugees, this march was for the LGBTQ community, this march was to remind Black lives that they are valuable, and matter. This march was not just about women’s rights, this march was about human rights.
I marched to love. I marched to document this mark in history. I marched to affirm people hoping to catch a glimpse of someone caring about their rights, and their lives. I marched because the Jesus in MY bible, would have. I marched because it was the right thing to do. I marched because if you’re not taking a stand, if you’re not fighting for your own rights, if you’re not fighting for the rights of your family- what are you doing?
“This march was not just about women”
“I marched to love”
I encourage you to educate yourselves. Educate yourselves on what’s going on around you in the country you’re in. I promise, it affects you. Take a look around your classroom today. Look at all the different races, listen to the accents, the languages, the religions. Don’t take your very fortunate life for granted. It wasn’t as easy for some of us to get here.