Mothers of the Movement Bring "Black Lives Matter" Discourse to Democratic Convention
The parents of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and more victims of violence spoke on the second night of the convention in Philadelphia.
The second night of the Democratic National Convention was an emotional one, featuring a heartfelt speech about gun violence from Mothers of the Movement.
The group, including parents of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Hadiya Pendleton, Dontré Hamilton, Michael Brown and Oscar Grant, appeared onstage to a crowd chanting "Black Lives Matter" after an introduction from Scandal star Tony Goldwyn.
Sandra Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, first spoke of watching her daughter "on permanent leave from this earth," after she was found dead in a jail cell "after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest." She named several others who were "gone but not forgotten" before she went on to voice her support for Hillary Clinton as the candidate who supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
"She is a leader and a mother who will say our children's names," said Reed-Veal. "She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it's not just a loss. It's a personal loss. It's a national loss. It's a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing tonight to be standing here so that Sandy can still speak through her mama!"
To cheers from the crowd, she added that she supports Clinton as "a president who will help lead us down the path of restoration and change."
Jordan Davis' mother, Lucia McBath, remembered warning her son that "because he was a young black man, he would meet people that wouldn't value him or his life. That is a conversation that no parent should ever have with their child."
"Hillary Clinton isn't afraid to say that Black Lives Matter," she added, urging the audience to "build a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children like Jordan safe."
"I am an unwilling participant in this movement," said Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, who said that she supports Clinton because she "has the courage to lead the fight for common-sense gun legislation."
"This is about saving our children," she said, "and that's why in memory of our children, we are imploring all of you to vote this election day. Hillary is one mother who can ensure our movement will succeed."
As the mothers exited the stage, the crowd again erupted into a chant of "Black Lives Matter" and gave the group of women a rousing standing ovation.
Earlier on Tuesday, Clinton made history during the second night of the four-day convention when she won the Democratic nomination and became the first female major-party nominee.