There was no way Amenah Tucker was going to miss this.
The 4-year-old’s mother, Sarah Nielsen, could have spent a sunny, Saturday afternoon with little Amenah anywhere else—the Zoo, Kennywood, Toys ‘R’ Us—but she chose Westinghouse Park in Point Breeze.
That’s where it all culminated on that Aug. 19 afternoon. Where it all began was a few blocks up the road, in Homewood, specifically the corner of N. Homewood Avenue and Bennett Street. On that day, it was the corner of love, not hate. Peace, not violence. Those who congregated in Homewood were there to show unity, solidarity, almost a family-like atmosphere, though for many, it was the first time they’d ever met.
In the wake of possible White nationalist and neo-Nazi groups converging on Pittsburgh’s East End, the Black Brilliance Collective, a group of about six people from various backgrounds, called for those to cancel their Saturday afternoon party plans and party for a purpose.
And the people answered.
“Personally, I wanted to attend the gathering as an ally in action,” Nielsen told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “I was very moved by the Black Brilliance Collective at the community meeting with their intent to create a counter narrative to White supremacist movements and institutions in our city and country. Black voices need to be centered and supported in an ongoing narrative, not just an emotional protest.”
And so the march began. About 1:20 p.m. was the time. Spearheaded by some 50 African Americans along the front lines, the over 300 protesters for peace marched through the heart of Homewood and into Westinghouse Park, also known as Malcolm X Park.