“Opal Tometi, a community activist and one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, agreed with Coates that there has been movement in public consciousness, even if it has come at a terrible price. “Yes, there is a shift,” she said, by text, as she marched on Juneteenth. “It’s unfortunate that the filming and photographing and hash-tagging of broken Black bodies had to be the catalyst for this shift, but there is one. Now the question is, how do we mobilize, move forward, support Black agency, and activate our allies?”
“I’m hopeful and optimistic that everyone will keep the same energy that they have now, two weeks from now, two years from now, two hundred years from now, and more,” Tometi said. “It’s hard not to let thoughts creep in, like, ‘Is this just performative?’ ‘Is change actually happening?’ But I know, at minimum, that the rhetoric has changed, and there’s more self-awareness from people outside the Black community around what is actually happening. And there is a clear resolve for change. The goal is for that rhetoric and awareness to turn into action and real change.”
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