BAYTOWN - After the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and several other people of color one voice and one name has emerged over and over again. Tamika Mallory has become an outspoken activist in the fight for equal justice.
"We have a form of accountability with the Derek Chauvin verdict, however it’s not enough," says Mallory.
Many of the powerful civil rights speakers of the past didn’t sound or look like Mallory. In fact, most have been men but from her viral speech after the murder of George Floyd, "We cannot look at this as an isolated incident. The reason why buildings are burning are not just for our brother George Floyd. They’re burning down because people here in Minnesota are saying to people all across this nation enough is enough."
To her arrest for protesting the killing of Breonna Taylor, Mallory seems to be making her mark in history, co-founding the group, Until Freedom.
"Until Freedom for me means that it’s never ending. Freedom is something I will be fighting for all of my generation. The generations before they fought for what we have now and our kids will have to continue to fight," Mallory says.
At a rally last week for Pamela Turner, who was killed while being arrested by a Baytown Police Officer in 2019, Mallory again connects with the crowd, giving a powerful speech about inequities that can’t be ignored.
"There are some serious and critical issues that have to be addressed. Those people who stood by are like many of the bystanders in police departments across this nation who want to claim that they are not the bad guys. No, I didn’t actually take this person’s life and they’re looking for excuses that stops them from actually doing what they have taken an oath to do. So I think there’s still an incredible amount of work to do".
The activist acknowledges the killing of George Floyd ignited intolerance in many who may not have realized the extent of racial injustice.
"It resonated. It touched hearts and minds of people who may have turned a blind eye before. They’re paying attention now".
Mallory says protesting and fighting for what’s right isn't what she wants to do, but has to do.
"People don’t want to be in the streets all day and night for weeks and weeks on end, but if that’s what has to happen in order to ensure we can get the little bit of justice that George Floyd’s family has received, we’re going to continue to do that".
So until things change, until equality, until justice for all...until freedom.
"When we say Until Freedom, I think it places the type of urgency and the long-standing struggle that we will be in to ensure our people can walk free without being killed just because of the color of our skin," says Mallory who wants to remind you your vote matters.
For instance, she says a different elected official may not have pushed to prosecute the Derek Chauvin case as Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison did and successfully so.