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Montgomery Black Moms to Hold Vigil on Sunday at Otto Kaufman Center

Montgomery Township Black mother Nakeisha Holmes-Ammons started a group known as Black Mothers Rising. They will hold a vigil at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Sunday, June 28, from 10 am to 12 noon to promote racial justice.

“Regarding me, well, I am a black mother who always has trepidations for my children merely because they are black," Holmes-Ammons told The Montgomery News. "I live in this community to provide a better living and education for them. Yet because society doesn't deem them or me adequate to reside here, we get marginalized."

"Before I lived in Montgomery, cops pulled me over twice, claiming my taillight was out," she said. "I checked but nothing was wrong."

This happened twice in 2017, Holmes-Ammons said, noting that the Montgomery police just wanted to "question us." Now that she is a part of the community, she adds, the Montgomery police have helped her "on numerous occasions with keys locked in the car at son’s basketball games."

"I became more worried when my son became a driver," she adds, "He's six-foot and 17 and doesn't look like a kid."

"Then George Floyd came about," she said. "I couldn't get over Floyd calling out: ' I can't breathe, mama!'"

"All I could hear was the voices of my son, my brother, my cousin, and my father. I asked myself: Am I doing enough to stop these acts of murder upon my children, young or old?"

Holmes-Ammons is a school crossing guard in Princeton. She also runs an herbal tea business:

She says she started Black Mothers Rising to "let people know that I am the mother and I am here to protect my children, and enough is enough. I am rising up against social injustice amongst brown and black-skinned people."

The organization held its first vigil in Princeton on June 7 with members of the Princeton Police Department. The Montgomery vigil will follow the same format, and will feature a moment of silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, group meditation, and first-person accounts from the Montgomery community about law enforcement. There will also be a dialogue and Q&A with the police.

Photo from the Black Moms Rising event outside the Princeton Municipal Building on Witherspoon Street on June 7. Photo by Jennifer Cohan.


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