Since the murder of George Floyd, there have been hundreds of demonstrations across all fifty states peacefully demanding justice for Floyd and others like him. Yet, there have also been those who used their justified outrage as an excuse to loot, destroy neighborhoods, and kill innocent law enforcement officers.
In the midst of this social upheaval is Thema, a peace-promoting, 26-year-old woman, who posted a unique-crafted “Black Lives Matter” sign that is resonating with hearts all over the world.
In a picture posted of herself while peacefully protesting, Thema holds a homemade sign with a powerful message.
“I SAID WHAT I SAID‼️✊🏽” Thema captioned the photo, adding the hashtags #BLACKLIVESMATTER #BLACKOUTEVERYDAY #STOPKILLINGOURKIDS #VIRAL #FREEDOMFIGHTERS #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforbreonnataylor #nojusticenopeace #washingtondc
The striking photo features Thema exposing her pregnant belly and wearing a face mask. The sign she was holding up read, “”We are NOT carrying for 9 months, Then struggling during labor for 9 hours just for you to kneel on their neck for 9 minutes!! Black Lives Matter.”
Thema’s sign refers to the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck, during which time George Floyd said multiple times, “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd also called out for his mother as he died on the pavement.
“The sign was my idea,” Thema told TODAY. “For the past few nights, I could not sleep. I have been staying up all night with George Floyd heavy on my heart. The video of his death and hearing him cry out for his mother will forever be embedded in my head. I truly believe that when Mr. Floyd called out for his mother, all mothers were summoned, of all ages.”
According to TODAY, Thema has two black sons, and is heavily pregnant with her third child.
“My children are my world, we vow to protect them at all times,” she said. “It is every mother’s worst fear to get that call. It genuinely angered me just to know that we carry these babies, these black men in our wombs for nine months, experiencing troubles the entire time such as excessive vomiting, weight loss, weight gain, blood clots, hair loss, kidney swelling and that is just the tip of the iceberg,” Thema said.
“Then the drastic pain of labor, some of us are in labor for nine hours and some are even in labor for 30 hours. Some women even come close to death during labor by excessive blood loss or difficulties and so much more for hours! Then for someone who vowed to protect and serve the people of all colors, just easily take our baby’s lives in 9 minutes! Eight minutes and 46 seconds to be exact with no remorse or hesitation! That alone called me to the front line to stand up for our children. Enough is enough. New laws need to be in place and true justice needs to be served,” Thema said.
Thema said the fact that she was pregnant did not deter her from doing her part, and that those around her were respectful and attentive to her needs as a pregnant mother.
“I decided to take a stance,” Thema said. “Not only for all of the lives that we have lost from police brutality but for our children’s future! As soon as I walked up to the protest, everyone was very peaceful. Food and water were provided and everyone there was also ready to take their stance to make a difference. There were thousands of people and everyone there made sure that I was not only protected but that I was also hydrated. During the march, it was made very clear that we do not condone violence.”
Thema also shared an artist’s digital rendering of her striking image and thanked mothers for doing their part to create a better future for their children.