Black Lives Matter New York founders continue their call for change

Thursday, July 2, 2020
Black Lives Matter NY founders continue their call for change
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Candace McCowan interviews the founding members of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York who talk about their message which has spurred a call for change across the nation.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Founding members of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York talk about their message which has spurred a call for change across the nation.

It has been weeks now. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world shouting 'Black Lives Matter.'

But this isn't a moment. It's a movement that began years ago.

"It's about black people who built this country and ending oppression," Black Lives Matter Greater New York Co-Founder Chivona Newsome said.

For brother and sister, Hawk and Chivona Newsome, it's in their blood.

Their parents met decades ago at a civil rights march.

"My mom was in the window and my dad's like, 'come on down and protest' and it's been magic in the Bronx ever since," Chivona Newsome said.

The duo founded Black Lives Matter of Greater New York.

Over the years, they've provided meals to those in need, marched and even got arrested.

But it was video showing the horrific killing of an unarmed George Floyd, by police, that amplified their message.

"I believe Black Lives Matter has been an alarm clock trying to wake everybody up, now that everyone is woke, where do we go," Hawk Newsome said.

In the past two weeks, they've seen legislation that they've been pushing for years, now made into law.

Like the chokehold ban they lobbied for after Eric Garner's killing.

But they've also been ridiculed and called anti-police.

Some have even blamed and associated Black Lives Matter with looting and vandalism.

"There's a small percentage of people who are looting and who are being violent, but we know that rioting as Dr. Martin Luther King said, are the cries of the unheard," Chivona Newsome said.

They're trying to maintain the momentum.

They have been calling on the many corporations now showing support for black lives, to add more black board members, hire more black managers and decision makers.

"Don't come running to our aid, don't throw money saying here take this money and fix the problem. No. Fix your problem," Hawk Newsome said.

And for all those in the back who keep saying 'all lives matter,' these siblings say treat Black Lives Matter like any other cause.

"I would like to talk to the people over at the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Cancer. And I would like to know if people come protest them and say what about AIDs, what about Sickle Cell. It's dismissive," Chivona Newsome said.

Both of the siblings gave up careers to take on this movement.

Hawk has a law degree and Chivona was previously a financial advisor.

She's now running to represent the South Bronx in Congress, on the ballot next week.


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