The families of Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor came together Saturday afternoon for a march aimed at encouraging the community to vote. The Blake and Taylor families met with the Rev. Jesse Jackson at Operation Push before heading to Evanston for the rally.
The Blake family has long-standing ties to the Evanston Community, holding the march in front of Jacob Blake Manor, an affordable housing community named after the family patriarch. As previously reported in the Chicago defender, the Blake family has a history of activism. “When Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, Blake led a march that drew 3,000 in his memory. That march protested civil rights and racial discrimination in Evanston over fair housing for the black community. Rev. Jacob Blake and his congregation built the Ebenezer Primm Towers, a 107-unit apartment building for low-moderate income seniors. In 2003, the church opened Jacob Blake Manor at 1615 Emerson Street to provide seniors housing.
“The name Blake is famous in our community here in Evanston, Jacob went to the Jr. High right down the street from me… now he’s laying in a bed the victim of police violence. Breonna Taylor, who has seen no justice…the verdict had nothing to do with her shooting but instead focused on the neighbors…Incredible. We are demanding justice”. -Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
The march of a few hundred participants remained peaceful as marchers walked down the street, shouting the names of Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor with chants of “you can’t stop the revolution and “Black Lives Matter.” At the march, speakers included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Congressman Bobby Rush, who spoke about voting power, especially in this year’s election. Jacob Blake’s family emphasized that although focused on justice for Jacob and his recovery, they are also focused on changing the laws, rules, and legislation. Breonna Taylor’s family emphasized the same. The families are unified in the fight for justice.
“Our focus is respect…unity…and accountability, said Bianca Taylor. People need to be held accountable for murdering our kids, and we are sick of it. We demand change, and we need everyone to vote, we need everyone to stand with us and fight these people because we can’t do it by ourselves, we work better in numbers”- Bianca Taylor, aunt of Breonna Taylor.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @daniesandersofficial.com.