MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Black organizers and community activists promise their calls for justice will not slow down over the upcoming holiday weekend. In fact, they have big plans for what they're calling "The Black 4th" in the wake of George Floyd’s death and their continued fight for equal rights and fairness.
Former professional basketball player Royce White is the face of the newly formed 10K Foundation, which is made up of Black community leaders. He says is committed to bringing about change and equality by whatever means necessary.
“People are under the illusion that marching and public demonstration is primarily for awareness,” said White. “It’s not for awareness. We are in an information war of physical space with the state.”
The group is planning a pair of large July 4 holiday weekend events. Saturday evening, there will be a march from U.S. Bank Stadium, ending across the river with a celebration of music, food and fireworks. Sunday, there will be a protest to start at the Mall of America, which will eventually make its way to the George Floyd memorial site at 38th and Chicago.
Organizers hoping both events will make people reconsider the country’s history and the treatment of African-Americans and other minority groups on America’s 244th birthday.
“In 1776, Black people were not free,” said Jonathan Mason of 10K Foundation. “They didn’t have independence. Neither did they have it on June 19, so we’re now going to go against the status quo and we can do our own thing.”
“We got to stand up and take it,” said Tayo Daniel of the 10K Foundation. “Go out here and make a decision that we’re gonna fight for our community, protect our community and educate our community.”
Organizers are hoping for upwards of 20,000 to participate in their Black Fourth of July events including that Saturday evening march at US Bank Stadium that they want to be completely silent.
“Look at the significance of July 4 historically, understand as free people in society, we can reclaim, retake, reshape whatever we want and do just that on July 4, said White.
Potentially punctuating the weekend, FOX 9 learned there’s a chance Terry Willis, an Alabama man who is walking all the way from Montgomery to the site where Floyd lost his life may arrive in town Sunday. That would complete his thousand-mile trek for racial equality, and social justice in the U.S. Organizers from the 10K Foundation promise they’ll be ready to take those final steps with him whenever he arrives.