As Black Lives Matter protests came to a close for the second weekend in the Santa Clarita Valley, approximately 50 protesters stood along Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway.
While many were returnees, who had spent a majority of their week camped out on the intersection, others were there for the first time, finally getting the opportunity to show their support.
“I was working all week and this is the first chance I’ve had to come out here,” Castaic resident Tamara Boyd said.
Boyd had brought her 16-year-old son, who she says needed to see what it meant to protest peacefully.
“I’m proud to be a black woman fighting for my rights, but I’m also proud of these people in my community,” she said, adding that she was happy to hear protests had remained peaceful. “I’ve lived in the area for years, and it’s a relief to see so many turn out to support the cause.”
For her son Jarod, this was a chance to show his community he appreciated the support.
“I’ve never been to something like this, but I’ve seen a few friends come earlier in the week,” he said, “and it’s been cool.”
Across the street on a different corner stood 23-year-old Jessica Zimmer, whose sign read “Santa Clarita, you can change.”
Zimmer, who is white, says she could see the inequalities in the local community.
“I’m hopeful that can change, though,” she said. “It is protests like this that can help us accomplish that.
Saugus resident Jose Antonio, who was born in Mexico, says he too has faced racial challenges that motivated him to attend the protest with his wife, Paula, on Sunday.
“Growing up brown in Los Angeles wasn’t the easiest, but I know growing up black wasn’t any easier,” Antonio said. “So, I know if I can help educate people, racism might not continue — and it will make the lives of future generations easier. It’s as simple as that.”
Emily Alvarenga covers features and business for The Signal. She's been at the paper for more than two years now and has spent that time getting to know the Santa Clarita Valley, its residents and their unique stories. Have a story to share? Reach out to Emily at [email protected]