When 14-year-old Isabella Busby showed up with her family to participate in a peaceful protest in Shorewood, she had no idea she would have to literally stand up for her rights following the nine-minute "kneel in."
The event, called "Kneel For Nine," took place in two locations on Tuesday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m. Several hundred people gathered at Santa Monica and Hampton Avenues in Whitefish Bay as well as at Wilson and Capitol Drives to kneel for nine minutes to honor the life of George Floyd and peacefully protest the police violence that ended his life in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, May 25.
Shortly after the group knelt – both on the sidewalk as well as in the street – a man approached the crowd, yelling that they were "disturbing American citizens lives" through their actions.
Busby, who was one of only a few African Americans in attendance at the North Shore protest, found herself face-to-face with the man for more than five minutes while he continued to yell about his personal situation and how it was adversely affecting his life.
"After nine minutes of kneeling, and trying to imagine what it felt like to be George Floyd with a knee in his neck for that amount of time, I felt so angry that someone who would never have to worry about losing brothers or uncles or aunts this way just didn't sit well with me," says Busby. "I had to stand up for all the years my grandparents and their grandparents have been fighting just to be treated like human beings and nobody has listened."
Eventually, Shorewood police arrived on the scene and asked the man to move along, who complied.
"I am so incredibly proud of Bella," says her mom, Abigail Fowler, who attended the protest with her daughter and son.
Busby, who is about to graduate from Shorewood Intermediate School and will attend Shorewood High School in the fall, says she would definitely stand up for African Americans' rights and against systemic racism again.
"If you’re a white person and you don’t understand why people are protesting, all I ask is to imagine yourself as a black person walking to Walgreens or as a black person walking home at night," says Busby. "I am angry, but I also have hope."
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.