We totally Juneteenthed last night, two of my World Naked Bike Ride comrades and some other friends who showed up to ride for black lives.
Sites along the way included George Floyd's old neighborhood at Holman and Nalle Streets, Emancipation Park, and the George Floyd mural off Chartres Street in East Downtown. We stopped for about a half hour by the mural, which occupies a place of honor next to one of Selena, and were treated to some music from a samba drum corps (I'll post a short video when I can) and some inspiring speakers. Critical Mass co-facilitator Mutulu Kafele, who has served on the board of BikeHouston, wrote a typical 'Tulu brilliant-angry poem for the occasion and spat it for us.
I don't know what happened after the gathering at the mural, because I had to break off and head for home. Up to then, the ride was noisily peaceful, with plenty of goodwill and encouragement from those we passed by. Organizers of the ride encouraged people to keep their sound systems' volume down so that the organizers could communicate better and get some chanting started; that wasn't going to happen. I'd like to have been able to talk to my friends without yelling, but as it turned out, the music communicated just as effectively as any chanting, if not more so. Beyond that, one cold wish that riders would stay off the sidewalks and on the prescribed side of the street, but I didn't see anyone get hurt from their unorthodox approach to urban cycling.
After my last post, I saw some items in the Chronicle about 1) how the statue of Christopher Columbus in Bell Park, across from the Italian-American Heritage Society, has been the target of some recent vandalism (aw, poor Chris) and 2) how the City of Port Arthur didn't really want the Dick Dowling statue for the Sabine Pass monument, so the City of Houston is having to put ol' Dick in storage. So this morning I strayed again from the path of my errands to see if indeed the Dowling statue was gone.
Look Ma! No Dick! (Sorry, once again couldn't resist.)