Story by Yasmin Plews, Nicola Newman, and Jasmine Givnan, TTK anti-racist activists. Photo by Polly Perkins.
A year has passed since we were locked down, synchronised as one with TV shows, online memes and Tiktok dance trends.
A video of a black man being arrested in Minneapolis in the USA went viral. The man lying on the ground, a white police officer knelt on his neck. The footage clearly shows this man, who we now know was George Floyd, crying that he couldn’t breathe, and calling out for his mother.
This murder ignited conversations about race, systemic racism and white privilege. It became the catalyst for a global movement of protest from black and white people and gave us all the confidence to rise up as one, to send a clear message:
After decades of racist behaviour, toleration of prejudice in the workplace, gaslighting of minority ethnic and black communities, the shameful deportation of British citizens from the Windrush generation and brutal immigration policies, our communities were at rock bottom, before the pandemic.
Talk of ‘yet another racist lynching’ became every conversation. How could we provide a space to show solidarity?
We started Taking the Knee in 2020, all around Sheffield each week. We kneel for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time that Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
This year has been a sober wake up call for us all, and the murder of George Floyd has brought us to the civil rights movement of our time.
We can all become anti-racist allies. We just need to choose to do so. We must all use our voices to push back against injustice.
No Justice. No Peace.