Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Today June 19th… Make sure you mark it on you calendar and remember how much change is still needed for all of us to Stand Together and Unite as One. Today we marched along side of the Wizards and Mystics to help support the cause.
The march organized by Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Wizards and the Mystics came from its players thoughts. The “Together We Stand” peaceful march came from a suggestion of Bradley Beal and Natasha Cloud. With support from the Mayors office, the players, staff and supporters marched with police escorts from Capital One Arena down Independence Avenue ending at the MLK Memorial in celebration of this historic day and everything we need to do to make change. All players in unity vowing for a change.
“Juneteenth is a day of celebration,” Cloud said. “It’s a day of liberation. It’s a day that we were finally freed from our bondage. We couldn’t think of a better day than today to come out here and come together, collectively and unified in solidarity with one another for a greater cause.”
Cloud passed the microphone to Beal, who reflected on the significance of Juneteenth in 2020 and the new meaning it has taken on as America reckons with its treatment, both historic and contemporary, of its black communities.
“They say Juneteenth is a day of celebration of freedom, a day of reflection upon the struggle that was endured,” Beal said to the crowd. “Last night, I had a little bit of time to reflect. The question that dawned on me is ‘what is freedom?’ By definition, it is the ability to act and speak whenever you want, (about) whatever you want without any restraint. But another question I ask myself is ‘how can the black community feel free in a world where racism and discrimination and prejudice are normalized and condoned, where these things are taught and passed down generation to generation, encouraged and often times celebrated? How does the black community grow when lives are taken from them without justice and without any consequences?”
With the NBA and WNBA seasons heading to Florida in July, this was the first chance many had a public chance to march for change with any of the players as a group.