TRISTAN TAYLOR, 37
We just celebrated day one hundred. I’d say we had about three or four hundred people at it. And we wanted to connect people who are in the march to different struggles and the history of struggles in Detroit. One of the most phenomenal things I’ve done so far was to do a march to the site of where the 1967 riot took place. Once we got there, we had people who were part of organizing in Detroit during and after the riots speak about their experience and about the movement. That was really powerful and included a professor who wrote a book and did a study on the Algiers Motel where the incident happened.* And so people got a whole history of what took place, what came out of it, who were the people involved.
There was a moment where it was almost like the baton or torch was being passed, too, because the older generation was telling us, you know, “You gotta stay out here. Y’all ain’t done nothing yet.” Like, “Y’all gotta reach day eighty before you think you’ve achieved something.” So it really motivated people. And it made us—I was crying during one of the speeches. Monica Lewis-Patrick, who’s been part of the struggle since she was a teenager, gave such an impassioned speech. And she told us: “Don’t you kneel. Don’t you kneel until you win something, don’t you fucking kneel.”
* On July 25, 1967, a couple days after the start of the Detroit race riots, police and National Guardsmen sped to the scene of the Algiers Motel after reportedly hearing gunshots and assuming them to be sniper fire. The authorities rushed the motel annex in pursuit of the “shooter.” (According to witness testimony, there was no sniper—a seventeen-year-old had been shooting blanks out of the window with a starter pistol while hanging out with friends in one of the rooms.) By the end of the incident, three Black teenage boys had been shot dead, and two white women and seven Black men were wounded.