Through the Lens of Local Photographer Vernon Brown

As protesters spilled onto Madison streets, spurred by outrage from the brutal killing of George Floyd, a young man grabbed a megaphone speaker and began speaking from the heart.

“Something people ask me all the time is what is it like to be an African American male in the world today? I’m embarrassed. All my dignity is gone. I’m scared sometimes,” Norman Davis said.

The pain and rage were evident.  It was the reason he needed to march. He marched for justice. He marched for change. And he marched to be recognized with dignity.

Davis, along with hundreds of young Black Lives Matter in Madison, joined activists across the nation, who took to the streets in honor of Floyd and other Black lives lost. An upswelling of youth activism in the wake of Floyd’s death leaves many feeling hopeful for a brighter future.

The daily demonstrations were present against a backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, of which African Americans have died at disproportionately higher rates than all other racial groups.

Madison photographer Vernon Brown used his camera to capture the youth activism in action.