It was the 21st. I woke up in my bed in South Philly with tears in my eyes. Was this all just one big nightmare? As I open up Facebook, I confirm that it’s not. This is real life. Donald Trump is the President of the U.S. All I kept thinking was, “he’s not my President.” As I dragged my body out of bed on the one day I could sleep in, I threw on whatever clothes were on the ground and made my way to the living room where my sister and her boyfriend were. As my sister made the coffee, we talked about the plan for the day. Initially I wanted to go to D.C but found myself deciding to stay in Philadelphia so I could be with my mother and sister, because if this day was about anything, it was about uniting with the ones we love.
I live on 13th and Passyunk and as soon as we walked out the door, I could feel the air was different. It wasn’t something I could explain, but something hung heavy. The three of us walked to the subway, seeing others walking in the same direction holding cardboard signs and crocheted pussycat hats.
We waited for the subway for about five minutes and in those five minutes I saw a collection of people all uniquely different (as it usually is in the city of Philadelphia) but all sharing a similar purpose. A black woman next to us with her child strapped in her Baby Bjorn was holding a sign by her feet, I caught a glimpse, “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this sh*t!” I laughed. I overheard so much distress but for the first time since this man won the election, I heard excitement. People were coming together peacefully and fighting for something that we all felt was worthwhile. It was the first time I was ever in a subway car and felt like I shared something in common with every single person riding with me.
We got off at City Hall and made are way upstairs to the LOVE sign, where we thought the meeting point was. No one was there. We thought we missed it. My sister called her friend that had been there since 9 A.M. she said they were down the Ben Franklin Parkway, blocking the entire street all the way up to the Art Museum. The closer we got to the Parkway, the more I could feel the energy changing, that calm before the storm, that moment before a rainstorm hits.
We turned the corner, I stopped in my tracks, seeing a sea of bobbing heads with pink hats. It was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. A man struts past us in a fake Russian military uniform, holding an inflatable Trump doll with a sign reading, “Trump is my B*tch.” People were asking him to stop so they could photograph him. I laughed which is something I didn’t except, I anticipated this whole event to be very serious. Of course we were protesting something bleak, we were standing up against a man that is determined to take away our basic human rights away, but despite that, this massive group of people all had a sense of humor. We shared light hearted spirits. We all saw this as a tragic comedy, but we knew something had to be done. Someone had to get up and say something.
We inched closer to the Philadelphia Art Museum, I had to stop every few seconds to snap a photo of the limitless amounts of commendable signs. We chanted and interacted with one another without knowing each other, without knowing each other’s names, or where each of us came from, but we knew one thing; we all have rights and we have a voice when we come together. I knew I was witnessing history. I knew I was participating in something bigger then myself. I knew that this was something that was going to be written about, documented, passed down and told to future generations. I knew it was something I needed to be a part of. It was a historical day having two generations of Savana women fight for a cause that my Mother taught me to believe it, to fight for love.