black lives matter

PBS NewsHour


Local activists, elected officials and community leaders reacted Tuesday after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.

Ashley Gantt, co-leader of Black Lives Matter advocacy group, Free The People Roc, said she was left speechless after hearing the verdict.


The name of one of the great abolitionists now finds itself in rare air: Our rather pedestrian-monikered airport has been renamed the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport.

“For Rochester to do that once again reinforces the social justice history, the social justice recognition, that has always been here,” says Carvin Eison.

Rev. Myra Brown’s call to fight for justice

Feb 7, 2021
Max Schulte/WXXI News

Ask the Rev. Myra Brown, the pastor at Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, where the roots of her faith first took hold, and she’ll tell you the story of the teacher, the mother, and the paddle.

Visual Studies Workshop

A project at the Visual Studies Workshop dedicated to archiving Rochester’s Black Lives Matter Movement is the first to receive partial funding from the Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Art Prevail Fund. The purpose of the grant is to promote racial equity in the arts, and to document local history using various art forms.


Until this summer, the coat rack in Martin Hawk’s home was a spot to set his keys and wallet and other everyday personal items. Now, it’s a place for his gas mask.

“None of us were prepared for the tear gas and the pepper spray,” Hawk says.

Hawk is a photographer embedded in what he calls the “battleground” of downtown Rochester, documenting the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have rattled the halls of power and earned international media attention.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Frustration boiled in the spring in reaction to George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and other police-involved deaths of Black people elsewhere. 

Those deaths motivated action on just about every level of Rochester, from a newly minted government commission on structural racism to mass protests in the streetsKevin Myles has seen this before. He’s the southeast regional director of the national NAACP and works with 600 branches between Mississippi and the Atlantic Coast. Myles said different generations often use different tactics when civil rights-related protests erupt. 

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Anyone setting eyes for the first time on the historical marker denoting the Abner Wight Home in Fairport could have been forgiven for doing a double-take.

The marker, out front of a handsome yellow colonial on South Main Street, was one of those ubiquitous blue and gold cast-iron plaques that New York state handed out between 1926 and 1969 to seemingly anyone offering a scintilla of evidence that history “happened here.”

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News


Roughly fifty protesters gathered outside City Hall Monday afternoon and marched to the Monroe County District Attorney’s office, calling on D.A. Sandra Doorley to resign.

Stanley Martin, an organizer with Free the People Roc, said that Doorley’s policies are racist and hurt people like Daniel Prude, who suffocated in police custody during a mental health arrest in March.

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

A 24/7 demonstration outside Rochester City Hall has ended, but for protesters it was one part of a much larger movement that is still gaining momentum.

On the first evening of Occupy City Hall, Michelle Dore, a white mother, watched over her three-year-old son as he played with other children along a blocked Church Street in front of City Hall.

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Of the more than 170 shows in this year's KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, several are related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

One of them is a production from ROC Freedom Riders.

The group was formed in June, after the May 25 death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

That was before the public knew about an incident -- one that would be compared to Floyd's death -- that had happened in Rochester months earlier. In March, police officers restrained Daniel Prude; he died a week later from the injuries he suffered.