San Angelo, Texas — May 25th, 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd which was a death seen millions of times across the nation. What does this day, one year later, mean for those in the San Angelo Community? The feeling is that there is still work that can be done. President of the San Angelo NAACP says the road to this one-year mark has been a long one, a long one for the African American community and for the organization. Sherley L. Spears says on this anniversary their vision statement of “doing the necessary work” is truer than ever.
Exactly one year ago on May 25th George Floyd’s death was broadcasted across social media platforms.
“Witnessing somebody die like that and knowing that it was real and not a movie that’s really difficult for anybody,” Sherley L. Spears President of the San Angelo NAACP said.
Spears says when she saw the video she was hurt, but not shocked. Hurt in that after growing up during the civil rights era things felt too similar.
“Across the country it’s like are we still here? This is 2021 and are we still in the same place,” Spears said.
That feeling of hurt for Spears was shared with millions across the country where marches and protests took action, some took place in San Angelo. However, some protests across Texas, according to Spears, were conducted with cooperation and teamwork from community members and police departments which is something she wishes was mirrored in the Concho Valley,
“when I go to these different events and then they’re like, ‘well, what are you all doing in San Angelo?’ I can’t even get an audience to have the discussion. So, from that respect, we’re at the same space,” Spears said.
The keyword in what Spears says is discussion. Discussion is what Spears says is crucial in order to enact real change and something she says local law enforcement can’t be exempt from. Conversations surrounding the topic of policing are the focus.
“This is a topic in America, how can the police, police the police, and we want to have that conversation with our police department and our chief, so that we can be proactive. We want to understand what the policies are,” Spears explained.
While Spears tells us a discussion has been hard to come by locally, at the same time in the past year and for the years to come. the San Angelo NAACP continues to move through their vision statement of ‘Doing the Necessary Work.’
“Whether it’s voter registration to get people more involved, whether it’s being involved with city council, and looking at the decisions at city leadership makes, whether it’s being more involved with looking at what our state representative and our state senator, what is it that they’re doing, are they listening to the constituency?” Spears said.
Sherley L. Spears says another part of the San Angelo NAACP vision statement of doing the necessary work is to make sure George Floyd isn’t reduced to his death which was caught on camera, rather they will do the necessary work to bring more to his legacy.