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New York City, New York — June 19, 2020: Protestors march from Brooklyn to Seneca Village in Manhattan’s Central Park during the Juneteenth holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Demonstrations have swept across all fifty as protestors have taken to the streets to express their anger and frustration with the ongoing systemic problems impacting many of the Black community and law enforcement that police them. CREDIT: José A. Alvarado Jr.

Juneteenth - Police Brutality ​Protests in NYC
josé a. alvarado jr.
Jun 23, 2020
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
— Maya Angelou, 1978

Images -
L: Protestors march north on 6th Avenue past Radio City Music Hall towards Columbus Circle during Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

R: New York City, New York - June 19, 2020: Black Lives Matter activist Livia Rose Johnson stands with protestors on 6th Avenue and 41st Street as they honor those impacted by police brutality before continuing their march towards Central Park.


José A. Alvarado Jr. is a visual storyteller devoted to documenting cultural and social issues, as well as human interest stories in the US and Puerto Rico.
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