"Newton Talks Race" rally asks how to keep BLM going in Newton


Maxwell Lu

Newton residents gathered at Jackson Homestead for ‘Newton Talks Race,’ an event organized in an effort to keep up momentum for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in Newton Saturday, Aug. 22.

Armando Machado Jr. and senior Cristian Gaines worked together to organize the gathering, and each gave short speeches regarding racism and police brutality. 

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Machado in his speech. “I know we have a lot of work to do when I see posters promoting Black Lives Matter being put up one day, and then ripped in half the next.”

Engine 6, an organization advocating for affordable housing, and FORJ Newton, a group of families speaking out on social injustice, also participated in the event.  

“The message we are trying to spread is that we are all stronger together.” said Lauren Dale, a member of FORJ Newton. “When we listen to the voices of everyone, in our organizations and in our schools, our voices are louder and more powerful.

Recently, a document created by FORJ about injustice against people of color, including African American, Asian American, and Indigenous people was shared with Massachusetts residents. 

“Newton has really needed to address racial inequities and disparities for a long time,” Gaines said. “This is just another step for us to unionize and be able to push this movement forward.”

Gaines added that this summer’s historical movement has been life-changing. “Being able to experience this cultural revolution has made this work feel so much more engaging and so much more inspiring,” said Gaines. “For me, that’s really been able to raise my voice.”

During his speech, Machado said that certain people, including himself, have many things to fear because of the color of their skin. “No one should be afraid to wear their hood, but that’s the reality for some black and brown males in this country,” said Machado after telling his story.

As a parent, Dale said that the best way to educate kids on social injustice is to first educate yourself. “It’s really important to do the work yourself first, and educate yourself on how we can make the most difference,” said Dale. “Kids learn so much more from what we do then what we tell them to do.”