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“We shouldn’t be dying”: Kids march for Black lives

Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 9:01 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - To “keep the momentum going,” a Madison community group organized a march for Black Lives Matter, putting kids at the forefront.

Sunday afternoon, Allies for Black Lives - Madison gathered families at McPike Park. Allison Bell Bern, an organizer, said more than 70 local groups—from daycares to restaurants—helped sponsor the event.

“I think that parents with young children, especially White people like myself, have often tended towards platitudes over actions,” she said. “We’re not here just to raise awareness. We’re here to tell the city that we want to defund the police and invest in Black people right now.”

The organizers offered kid-friendly lessons on racial justice and protest-related craft stations. Seventh grader Jayvion Broughton said poster-making was his favorite activity.

Broughton explained the reason he came to the event: “I just think we shouldn’t be dying. We shouldn’t be getting beat up and stuff and be treated like we’re slaves.”

Alex Surasky-Ysasi brought her 2-year-old son. She said, “It’s important that we start to point things out to them and teach them really young because, if not, we’ll go to the default. The default is that there are Black folks being killed by police, which is so wrong on every level.”

She continued, “To imagine if my child played into a system that would continue to perpetuate inequality and inequity is just not something I want. It breaks my heart because he [my child] is not the only kid. There’s a ton of kids, and they all deserve a really bright future.”

Organizers said they created the event to serve as a learning opportunity for everyone, including adults.

Broughton said this is the message he wants to share with them: “I’m just a little kid, but at the same time, I think Black Lives Matter means Black people should be treated how other people should be treated, how other race and other colors should be treated.”

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