There is never a “RIGHT” way to protest

Charlotte Protest

On June 2nd, 2020 a protest was organized at the Charlotte Government Center, and surrounding dedicated speakers were people of differing backgrounds whether it be their age, race, gender identity, etc. It was a range of people that were gathering to make the people’s voices heard. A range of people where they were fed up with the current system in place and its lack of protection for its citizens. When the march began, there were echoes of words being screamed from their cores:

“No Justice. No Peace. No Racist Police.”

“Say his name. George Floyd. Say her name. Breonna Taylor.”

It was a walk around uptown Charlotte under the hot sun with masks on our faces. There were people active on the sides providing water bottles, snacks, and hand sanitizer. It was really hitting me at that moment we reached in front of the CMPD building, when I took a minute to look at my friends and the people around us. This is only the beginning. We are taking the right step, but we need to be serious in our words and actions. While many of us are tired, we cannot rest until we see results.

But what is the right way to get results?

This seems like an age-old question, that many people in my generation are just now facing and asking each other. It didn’t take long after the protests for me to see the differing opinions of people that have the same goals in mind. Earlier in the week, I would have said that protesting is the most active of the answers and is the best way to solve any issues between the people and the system. However, after leaving the protest it didn’t take long for news to reach me about the protests taking a turn for the worst and eventually tear-gas was unleashed on the crowd.

It made me sit with myself and think “what could possibly be the right way to take action?” From an ocean of opinions, there were a plethora of ideas: “Social media posts are not enough!” “Protests are just too much!” “Educate each other!” “Educate yourself!”

After taking a step away, I feel like there was one rather good perspective on this issue. Just as how Trevor Noah expressed his thoughts on the Minneapolis Protests “…there is never a right way to protest, because that’s what protest is. It cannot be right because you are protesting against a thing that is stopping you.” I understand that times are especially unpredictable and there are strong emotions behind this movement. Believe me, I understand. However, we need to remember that during times of change the journey is a multifaceted process. Despite how linear historical stories may seem, there are so many ways that a person can bring change. Just as long as the action you take can bring tangible results to the cause. When it comes to change and protests, think of it like a tree. We come from the same roots of emotions and desire for action and change, but we should allow ourselves to branch out in different ways in hopes for the same result: growth.

As a community.

As a country.

So I ask you to sit and think about how you would like to branch out and take action? Do you want to sign petitions, donate, protest, or support black businesses? Whichever way you take, as long as you are doing this for the intention of tangible change, you are in the right direction. I’ve made a list of sites accepting donations, as well as a list of black businesses you can support, and mental care resources for black people that need to take care of themselves during these times.  

Donation Sites

Charlotte Black Businesses (retrieved from @hullosam)

  • Epic Times
  • Cream & Coco
  • The Unity Market
  • Abugida
  • Veltree
  • Wrap’N’Roll
  • BW Sweets Bakery
  • Popbar Charlotte
  • A Smart Cookie
  • Kaizen Massage & Bodywork
  • The Hemp Source
  • Balanced Chiropractic
  • Scruse it up
  • We Chic’d It!
  • Urban Cardio Dance
  • Much more on @hullosam Instagram page!

Mental Care Resources (retrieved from @ethelsclub)

  • Dive in Well
  • Sista Afya
  • Therapy for Black Girls
  • Healhaus
  • Inclusive Therapists
  • Ethel’s Club
  • The Nap Ministry
  • Much more on @ethelsclub


Raniah Jeanlys is a proud Haitian-American woman that was born in Pétion-Ville, Haiti and then grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is currently a senior at North Carolina State University majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. She enjoys being an active student and participating in activities outside of school like dancing and volunteering at animal shelters.

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