I’m not originally from Albany, so I grew up with the pretense that New York was a place of racial harmony, and blacks were generally treated with respect. I always saw New York as a multicultural melting pot where people generally respected other people's cultures.

I grew up learning about the Harlem Jazz era that produced Jazz and Hip Hop culture in New York City. Also, New York has historically been known as the state that formed, the Union, and all that other stuff we learned about in United States history class. When I moved to New York state in 2011 I realized upstate New York was nothing like the New York City like state I imagined.

In 2011 I had just moved from New Bern, NC to Buffalo, NY. While in Buffalo, I learned about how essential New York state specifically upstate New York was to American history. Great historical figures from Buffalo Bill, Frederick Douglass, and Harriett Tubman all have rooted history in Upstate New York.

I also learned about Western New York’s unique racism. The city of Buffalo is still to this day racially divided geographically. As a person who has lived in multiple parts of the state and the country. There is a racial divide across the Capital Region that reflects the United States.

When I saw the protest turn to chaos over the weekend, it reminded me that there are a lot of frustrated people with the current state of society in the United States. Also, it made me, ask the question is this the first time this has happened, and unfortunately no it isn’t.

Did you know there were documented race incidents, in Albany in 1917 this is included in the Red Summer riots that are famous for the 20 people slain in Chicago? According to US News also, there was a documented racial uprising in 1967 after Martin Luther King Jr was murdered.

So this definitely isn’t the first time Albany has been active in a racial uprising. A lot of people don’t know the civil rights act was passed after a week of violent riots all over the country. Now is a perfect time to access why do these same racial uprisings keep happening across the United State and here in Albany?

Hopefully, there will be some kind of legislation that prevents people from being killed by law enforcement with impunity. There have been about 4 documented killings of unarmed black men in the Capital Region since I have lived since here in 2015.

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