Local Activists Move Forward in Honor of Dr. King
CHARLOTTE, NC — Local activists and leaders African-American community are honoring Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, but this year, they say the sentiment is different than the past.
They say that after the protests and riots in Charlotte following the police shooting of Keith Scott.
“There’s definitely more work to be done,” said Shaun Corbett of Cops and Barbers.
He says the idea of more work was obvious as he watched the protests.
“When the protests and riots happened, everybody was like, ‘Oh my God.’ But to me, I was like, well okay. It makes sense becauseI’m on ground level
I’m in the barber shop. I understand the frustrations,” said Corbett. “It almost needed to happen to realize, ‘Okay. How do we prevent it from ever happening again?’.”
Millennial activists like Camillya Masunda say they’re reflecting on Dr. King’s approach.
“What’s great about this day is that we just need to come back around and remember how Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders were able to keep that non-violence movement going but be so effective,” said Masunda.
“I think we’re still grappling with similar issues, just a different time,” said Brenda Tindal.
Tindal is a Charlotte historian who says issues Dr. King preached about, like economic mobility, have resurfaced in Charlotte.
However, she says there are some differences.
“Protests have changed significantly particularly when you think about technology, social media,” said Tindal.
To move forward, groups are using social media to announce city council meeting agendas and gear up for elections.
“Stand up and be at those city council meetings and be at those hearings, and make sure we know we do not stand with them so we can replace them,” said Masunda.
They’re also working to help form personal connections between police and the community, including officers tutoring students in schools.
“A lot of them [students] don’t even know that they’re officers until later on,” said Corbett.
To sign up for that tutoring program, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-326-2187.