Days after a rough week that left Americans reeling from the deaths of unarmed black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile; followed by the killings of five Dallas policemen, several groups of Tylerites joined together for prayer and to honor lost lives.
Vigil for Freedom was organized by Erricka Bailey, cofounder of My African American Mothers’ Alliance (MAAMA).
MAAMA hosted a vigil, with the support of Rose City Doulas, Pineywoods Voice, Beth Lytle and Tyler Transgender Support Group.
The short event included participants reciting the names of Dallas police officers killed July 8 and dozens of black Americans who were killed by police in recent years.
Tasha Portley, cofounder of MAAMA, spoke about the need for all Americans see each other’s humanity.
“Tomorrow I ask you to rise and be uncomfortable,” she said. “Sit in your uncomfortableness. That’s how healing takes place. That’s where progress takes place. I ask you to rise and ask questions. I ask you to rise and be empowered. I ask you to rise and give a damn about something and someone else–anything that does not fit into your picture-perfect box.”