NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY/WFXR) — The push for change continues across the country, and for the last month, people have taken to the streets calling for an end to police brutality and racial injustice.
That includes throughout Hampton Roads where on Saturday, June 27, several dozen Black men in suits took to the street. These men deliberately dressed in suits to share a message of unity.
“I feel like I should be out here with these men, out here having fun.”
In 8-year-old Josiah Kelly’s eyes, marching with the men in his community Saturday was fun, but of course, it served a bigger meaning.
“We want to show the professional things we can also do, suits are a way we can project that we are men of influence. That we are men of power,” said one of the organizers, Luqman Haskett.
He and four other Black men in Norfolk came together to plan a march celebrating Black men and what they stand for. Every single one of them dressed in a suit and tie.
“If your head is down, you know you got some Black brothers behind you to help lift your head up no matter what is going on,” explained Corien Shaw as he marched.
Shelby Gatewood said wearing a suit sends a message and the group hopes to change the narrative.
“To me, it empowers a different look than what you see on the news. You usually see someone with a hood on, face covered up, looting — doing everything wrong. We want to show the positive side of a Black man.”
Alvin Holloway believes the positive side is not always shown.
“Shoot ’em up, ‘bang bang,’ that’s all you see. Then, individuals who look like us — we’re business owners, we’re family men, we’re everyday people. Everything you see on the news late at night depicts us with negative connotations. We’re more than meets the eye,” Holloway said.
While the march is for the community, the participants are really here to catch the eyes of youth and they are not missing a beat.
“We should stand up for these people, and stand up for who are all going through all this stuff. Like this corona, all this police. We need to feel good for our people out here going through the struggle,” said Kelly.
Organizers say this is the second time they have held a march like this and they would like to plan another in the near future. The group says they hope everyone left today feeling inspired and encouraged to lift black men up and create a better community.
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