NORFOLK, Va. - Protests calling for racial equality and justice continue weeks after the death of George Floyd sparked a national movement.
The “Suited Movement: Distinguished Men March” was organized by a group of local men who say they’re trying to change the narrative of racism by starting in the home.
The march kicked off at the Scope Arena in Norfolk. Organizers said they want to continue the dialogue about race, prejudice and policing.
The local movement was 8-year-old Josiah Kelley’s first protest.
He was chanting the words, “I can’t breathe,” uttered by George Floyd and many others during sometimes deadly encounters with police. Words Josiah said he understands.
“I think we need to stand up to our people and not be afraid to stand up for our Black men,” he said. “We need to stand proud for them. George Floyd didn’t do anything.”
The “Suited Movement” is meant to show young kids, such as Josiah how to begin to stem the tide of racism.
Luqman Haskett helped to organize the event.
“We also have to help ourselves out as well and become leaders and become who we want to be, recognized in society other than just black men and black women,” Haskett said.
Organizers said it starts with a conversation, sometimes a difficult one about police interactions.
Michael Boyd is a father of two.
“One day somebody might have to explain to them why their dad is no longer here because of something that happened as far as racial profiling, police brutality, whatever,” said Boyd.
Boyd said his oldest daughter Asia will soon be driving. The thought of her getting pulled over scares him.
“I had to talk with her, if you ever get pulled over follow instructions; don’t raise your voice; yes sir, no sir; yes ma’am, no ma’am,” Boyd said. “If they’re wrong, we’ll get a lawyer later, but we need you to come home alive.”
Luqman Haskett can relate. He has two teenage sons and said these conversations are not optional.
“It’s unfortunate we have to have that conversation but it’s one of those things, you know?” said Haskett. “It’s necessary so you have the conversation.”
Necessary, like these demonstrations that will hopefully help bridge the racial divide.
“This is not just a moment,” Haskett said. “This is a movement.”