Photos by Anna Robertson
Written by Brittany Landry
Two buses full of women left Savannah, Ga. on Jan. 21 for Washington D.C. They were going to the capitol to march. And a week later at Trinity United Methodist Church, they were given the opportunity to share why.
Coco Papy, who spearheaded the traveling plans to the Women’s March on Washington, opened the storytelling to a standing ovation. She talked about the urgency of this moment, the need to fight battles that we might feel are not ours to fight.
Next up was Bertice Berry. She shared a story of traveling in South Africa and having a coat she didn’t need. Berry had spotted a group of women and handed her coat to the oldest there, all the women around her got excited. Barry was worried and expressed how she didn’t have anything else to give. The African women said, “No, we want to thank you for giving our sister a coat. Because when our sister do good, I do good.”
“I became a little ashamed,” said Berry, “because we didn’t really have the same feeling of excretion here.” Berry talked about her need to march to feel the power of her sisterhood. How alone it can be hard to be seen, but together they could become something that could not be ignored.
Barry ended by saying, “When black women get together they make sure you are fed, you are loved, you go home everyone feels good. We don’t have any marching orders for the next day. When my white sisters get together they have marching orders, strategies… they don’t feel loved or fed. What is going to happen when we get together?”
Carol Greenburg told her story of being a proud veteran when it came to marching. Her first march was in 1972. She marched because she hopes that younger generations “will not have to inherit the march.”
Erica Scales told her story of needing to march to help with her mourning process. “This was purely about me,” said Scales. “It had no larger purpose, y’all . . . it was about me surviving the next four years.” Scales told her story of how she had worn black for two weeks after the November election. She didn’t know how she was going to wear color again and the march helped her do that.
“I had never marched before. I was a virgin, and I am wondering if I look different today… I wonder if my mother noticed,” Scales said.
24 local women got up on the podium and told their stories of why they needed to march that day. How according to Jennifer West, they were surrounded “by the most polite sardines” that day on Independence Avenue. The event ended on the notes of “Quiet” by Milck. “I can’t keep quiet,” sang the women, children and men in the crowd.