black history month: faces from the new civil rights movement

February 25, 2015

Kajieme Powell was murdered August 19th, 2014. Today’s #FacesofTheMovement post is very special. Qjuana is one of the people that many may not “know,” but she is necessary and appreciated.

Not only has Qjuana almost single-handedly maintained Kajieme Powell’s memorial despite many attempts to have it removed, but she also has articulated best just how much Kajieme’s killing should anger and move people to action. She has since day 1 and continues to provide the proper context for understanding why Kajieme’s killing is so problematic.

Thank you, Qjuana, for reminding us that Kajieme Powell’s life matters and that every victim of police violence life matters.

“I have no doubt that some wanted Kajieme’s murder to get lost in the fury of Mike Brown’s death. I could not let that happen. Mike’s killing was the stab in the gut of the black community. Kajieme’s was the twisting of the knife.”


“Mike Brown, forever.”


“This movement is uncomfortable. It’s sacrifice, it’s tears, blood and sweat. But it’s my dreams of the infinite possibilities of freedom and the be-smitten taste of Black liberation that keeps me here. I’m here until my demise. And that is revolutionary love.”

-Brittany, co-founder of millennialau

“I believe the system needs to be changed from the way it is to the way it needs to be for the 21st century. I have carried this torch for years and now it’s time for me to pass it to the youth of the movement. I’m involved in the movement to help change hearts and minds.”


“I believe you can be bruised but never broken. We are focused and resilient. And we will continue to fight for and work to create the change needed to protect black brilliance, black love, and black lives.”


“Everyone has an important role in this movement. Mine just happens to be to care, to comfort, and to nourish.”

– Mama Cat, who personally and with the help of organizations like Operation Help or Hush, has fed thousands of protesters since August.

“This isn’t the beginning. This war has been going on since the 50s. Black lives have never mattered in this white supremacist world. It’s up to our generation to help bring this war to an end. It is easy for us to just die for it. Now, we must learn to live for this revolution.”


“Freedom ain’t free.” -Dhoruba

“This movement is important to me because this is the beginning of a positive change for not only black people in America, but also for all of America. A change for the better.”


“These six months have been very beautiful and powerful to me. On August 9th, young people came out, boots to the ground, leaving their past lives. And still, we remain. For years, Generation Y was said to not care for the world around us. Well, look at us now. We, the protesters, are the people we’ve been waiting for.


“I was born in 1964. I had a cross burned in my yard at age 10. But Mike Brown was the first lynching I experienced. That was 40 years ago. And here we are, still, work to do. I understood Ferguson in light of seven years of activism in Kirkwood after our city hall shooting. The two incidents are not disconnected.”

-“Mama Taye”

“I believe one should act upon what moves their heart. Ferguson has moved my heart… so I have acted.”


“Contrary to what anyone may think, we’re combating oppression out of love, not hate. Love for humanity and even love for those that hate us.”

-“Spann” aka @MalcolmXcelsior

“If you don’t love me in my Nike Air Raids and sweats, then don’t love me in a three-piece suit with high heels. I’m college educated and I love it, but while in college I hated how respectability was constantly shoved down my throat. Respectability ain’t out here saving lives!”

-Rae aka @refinedsmarts

“Fighting in this movement is my way to imagine and create new futures. Being Black in this country has always meant struggling for new realities, and now it’s my turn.”

-Reuben aka @ReubLou

“Many of us wouldn’t exist without our communities and it’s why I feel I must do my part to give back. Being a resident of Ferguson in this time drew me closer to this community and despite what happened, we will overcome together.”

-Tasha aka @bellebutters

“I am fighting because we continue to be oppressed and targeted by an unjust system. This movement has been tough but organizing with my peers for better communities and for an equal system has overpowered all the obstacles we have faced.”

-Rasheen, the Ferguson Commission’s youngest member and director of Young Activist United St. Louis.

“We represent the conscious-minded men and women across the world. We recognize the injustices that we are all faced with every day and we want to wake up and unite the rest of the world.” 

– David, Canfield Green Apartments resident and one of the leaders of Ferguson Copwatch.


In collaboration with the Faces Of The Movement photo project, highlighting the stories of everyday people who have joined together to fight for justice against police brutality in the United States. http://facesofthemvmnt.tumblr.com

Attilio D’Agostino, @_attilio | Lead Photographer
De Nichols, @de_nichols | Project Designer
Charles Wade, @akacharleswade | Creator & Curator