When Faith Harris saw yet another Black life was taken by an act of racist violence, she knew she had to do something. So she invited friends, family, and anyone who wanted to join to come stand on the corner of a busy street with her to raise awareness and spread the message that Black lives matter.
“What’s better to have a demonstration or a protest here and show people that if we can do it here in Plainfield, then they can do it in their small town, too,” she shares. “It’s a moment of solidarity.”
Meet Faith: community leader
Faith Harris: It was at 3:00 AM, just going through my Twitter, and I just started crying. [Footage from murder of George Floyd plays] And I run to my sister, my younger sister, and she’s like, “What’s wrong?” And I just couldn’t control myself, and I was like, “They killed another man.”
One of the first things she said to me after a minute was, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” “I want to go stand on the corner. Are you going to come with me?” She was like, “Of course.” Well, what’s better to have a demonstration or a protest here and show people that if we can do it here in Plainfield, then they can do it in their small town, too.
It’s hard trying to find your identity alone in the world, and then when America puts race on top of it. But for me, it’s really understanding that I am biracial, and there is some privilege that comes with that. So it really is me trying to understand how I’m going to use that privilege to help those who can’t help. And that’s not necessarily the case for so many other people around me, especially my father. He talks about it all the time and really has educated us on what it is to be a Black man in America.
So I reached out to my immediate family, my close friends, and then I put it out on my Instagram stories, coming out there, and we actually had about 140 people at one time, 130 people. Right at the beginning, I was like, “Okay, we’re going to do this,” and now I can’t — you can’t turn back. There’s nothing you can do. You just need to go, go in the moment, live in this moment, and understand that this could make a difference for somebody.”
We picked the busiest intersection because we knew that more people would see it — to research it or educate themselves, that was really all that we were asking for. We did this, and we did this for a whole bunch of people around the world who we don’t know but have gone through the same things we have gone through. It’s a moment of solidarity. It’s not about one person. There’s no recognition right now. There is no acknowledgment, and there never has been. Even during the civil rights, we got so far, we did so much for America, but there’s so much more to do.
(Footage from demonstration)