“Everyone ready? Everyone’s in place?” Alicia Wallace, Director of Hollaback! Bahamas, inquires. “Then let’s go!”
Instantly, the Urban Renewal band picks up their gear and prepares to hit the road for what would turn out to be the most adventurous day.
The brass section licks off the tune of Julien Believe’s “Live And Whine” and the marchers rush with excitement as if it were downtown Rawson Square on a New Year’s morning.
Women held placards and posters that silently screamed words of equality, innocence and social justice. Others more personally read “#TambourineArmy #ReclaimingOurStreets #LifeInLeggings #BeBoldForChange #LeaveSheAlone #BunOutRapeCulture #RegionalSolidarity.”
The march, which took some 40 minutes, started at the Potter’s Cay Dock entrance and ended at The Dundas Centre for Performing Arts.
Upon arrival to the Dundas, the Pro Society of the University of The Bahamas greeted the group with chalk art drawn along the driveway. One of the messages read, “Women’s rights are human rights. Help our sisters, not just our cis-ters.”
After the band played the national anthem – their final tune – everyone parked on the platform and waited for the exhibition to begin. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated assisted with beverage distribution, as Leslie LezzBoogie, the host of the speaker series and expo, geared up to begin.
Speakers ranging in age, size, creed, sexualities and nationalities all came together for the common goal of reclaiming our streets. From as young as Kevanya Simmons to as eccentric as Erin Greene, Jodi Minnis, and Holly Bynoe – all shared powerful stories of their experiences and the different ways their crafts help in mending a broken society. Multidimensional cultural and edutainment group ‘Ubuntu’ followed the speaker series with a special performance that created a vibe that transcended the centre.
The expo consisted of yoga sessions, art therapy, self-defense classes, chalk artistry and storytelling on a story wall created from brown paper and markers.
The day ended as the sun dipped into the Atlantic. Everyone packed up, hugs were given, kisses exchanged, as a reflection of what turned out to be the most adventurous day yet.
“I think it’ll be bigger and better next year,” Alicia Wallace, Director of Hollaback! Bahamas, says with excitement glowing in her eyes.