Downtown GR event celebrates Breonna Taylor’s legacy

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Justice for Black Lives held an event Saturday to celebrate the street name changed this past year in honor of Grand Rapids native Breonna Taylor.

The celebration started Saturday afternoon and will end at 7 p.m. at Monroe Center in downtown, at the heart of Breonna Taylor Way.

The street name took effect in December, but because of the winter weather and COVID-19 restrictions, this was the first time the community had a chance to officially come out and celebrate the change.

“Having something in our hometown to signify her is very important and it’s worth a celebration,” President of Justice for Black Lives Aly said. “We worked very hard to get this petition and with the permission of the family that we were able to make this happen and that’s amazing.”

The tragic death of the Grand Rapids native at the hands of police in Louisville, Kentucky last year made her name known around the world.

While organizers of the event say their fight is far from over when it comes to achieving racial equality and police reform, the event was a time to celebrate her legacy becoming part of downtown.

All afternoon there was live music, pop-up vendors featuring local black-owned businesses and all sorts of games and fun.

The event’s organizers said they hope it shows the community a new side of them and their movement.

“A lot of people that are down here a lot are used to us marching in the streets and screaming ‘no justice, no peace,'” Aly said. “We’re still going to keep fighting for justice, we’re still gonna keep fighting for what’s right, but we’re people too. I guess that’s just more humanizing us, seeing us have a good time more than just putting our fists up and marching through the streets.”

More tributes for Breonna Taylor are expected in the days to come, as this week marks what would have been her 28th birthday.

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