Black men in Georgia are making their voices heard ahead of the 2022 midterm election. Tired of people talking about them but not to them, Black men will be mobilizing in nine cities across Georgia: Statesboro, Macon, Columbus, Albany, Savannah, Augusta, Clayton, City of South Fulton and Atlanta.
Led by the Black Man Lab and the New Georgia Project, the “Black Men Got Something to Say” tour kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 4:30 p.m. in Statesboro. A play on the iconic Andre 3000 quote, “the south got something to say,” the tour is prioritizing Black men ahead of the most competitive election in the south.
Talking to Black men all across Georgia
According to the organizations, Black men from the local community at each stop will share space to voice their concerns and hopes. Having the launch in Statesboro also holds symbolic meaning after the injustice in the Marc Wilson case. Wilson is a young Black man who tried to defend himself against a group of white teens who tried to run him and his girlfriend off the road in the summer of 2020. Despite being found not guilty of all the original charges against him
Building on existing organizing relationships
While the groups will highlight the importance of voting as a tool for change, the groups are encouraging Black men and boys of all ages to come out. The “Black Men Got Something to Say” tour follows the Black Brothers Vote campaign launched by NGP through its Voting Initiative and Brothers Engagement (VIBE).
Led in part by NGP Organizing Director Billy M. Honor, the effort has been an opportunity to give Black men a clear forum to discuss politics.
“Black men have been left out of the political conversation for too long in our state and our country,” Honor said. “We are out talking to Black men every day at their doorsteps, in the barbershop, on the basketball court, listening to their concerns, and their solutions, and, hopefully, giving them a reason to vote this year and for years for come.”
Setting foundation for long-term Black male engagement
The groups see this effort as the beginning of a broader statewide effort to engage and build power with Black men. Founded in 2016 by four fathers and their sons, the Black Man Lab provides a weekly space for Black men to come together and discuss personal concerns, professional development, politics and more.
“The Black Man Lab Tour will provide a safe and sacred space for Black Men to share their concerns with the current political environment,” said Marty Monegain, executive director of the Black Man Lab Foundation. “More importantly, what the tour will bring forth is a forum for Black men to realize the power of their vote and that they are the tip of the spear for true change!”
Dinner will be provided at each meet-up. Specific times and locations for November dates will be released later this month. Here’s the full schedule below:
Sunday, Oct. 23, 4:30 pm, Georgia Southern City University Campaign, Statesboro, GA
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 pm, The Douglass Theater, 55 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Macon, GA
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6:30 pm, Zo’s Lounge, 4910 Buena Vista Rd Ste. A-2, Columbus, GA
Tuesday, Nov. 1 (Albany)
Wednesday, Nov. 2 (Savannah)
Thursday, Nov. 3 (Augusta)
Friday, Nov. 5 (City of South Fulton)
Sunday, Nov. 6 (Clayton)
Monday, Nov. 7 (Atlanta)
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