Over two days, men and women marched 26 miles to New Orleans to mark an overlooked uprising against slaverys brutality and pay tribute to those who fought for freedom
Ten years after police in Oakland killed his unarmed nephew Oscar Grant, Cephus Bobby Johnson put on a coarse cloth shirt and a red replica headpiece, clutched a machete and marched with 400 other re-enactors through the old plantation land of southern Louisiana.
Over two days, men and women marched 26 miles, through winding levee walkways, suburban sprawl and the historic streets of New Orleans, dressed as participants from a little-known slave rebellion that occurred here in 1811. The re-enactment was a piece of performance art by the New York artist Dread Scott.
For many taking part, it was an experience grounded in the trauma and complications of the present day.
Johnson thought about Grant. His 2009 shooting death became a focal point in the nationwide struggle for racial justice, well before the white officer who pulled the trigger was convicted of manslaughter.
Oscar didnt die in vain. And neither did our sisters and brothers that took the sword and took the cane machete to fight and die for freedom, Johnson said. They opened the door for us to be standing here today.