Why there is a beef with Black Lives Matter activists in Atlanta, part 1

The city of Atlanta is having a real problem when it comes to social activism and the new school leaders that are rising. No longer is Atlanta seeing social movements that have roots in the Black church, but rather movements that have roots in social media, coffee shops, living rooms and the streets by young millennials. These millennials seem to cast off the vestiges of their grandparents’ Civil Rights struggle and are eager for a direct and uncomfortable confrontation with power. Former Atlanta Mayor and Civil Rights Movement icon Andrew Young called them “brats” when speaking to members of the Atlanta Police Department this past summer who were dealing with citywide protests by the Black Lives Matter Movement. Young later apologized for his comments at the urging of his grandchildren and others.

Atlanta is a unique city, in that it is so large yet small enough that if you are really involved in a particular social activity, more than likely you are going to run into familiar faces and voices. In the past, some of these voices have found a way to work with one another despite slightly differing views on many issues. But currently, there is a split within those who call themselves leaders within the Black Lives Matter movement in Atlanta.

Activist Mary Hooks of co-director of Southerners On New Ground (Photo courtesy of Hunter Boone)

Last summer, Black Lives Matter activists created organized protests that brought traffic to a standstill in busy parts of the city. In the end, former Mayor Kasim Reed had to speak with protest leaders and some say that current Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms owes a debt to activists who supported her winning campaign. The interesting thing about the Black Lives Matter activists in Atlanta is that at its very formation, the people that stepped into the gap were members of the Black LGBT community. These leaders such as Mary Hooks of the group Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and Dre Propst were united not because of their sexuality, but because of their Blackness and the collective suffering of Black folk that could be seen in Atlanta on a daily basis.

Out of their advocacy and working with other like-minded organizations, Black mothers in jail because they could not afford the cash bond were bailed out in time for Mother’s Day and the stories of the marginalized and disenfranchised were made visible to many. But if you tried to find their names on any articles of incorporation or business documents claiming that they owned or were the only true leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement in Atlanta, your search would be in vain. The original leaders of BLM in Atlanta make no claims of ownership or title, only pointing out that they are part of the Atlanta chapter of the national organization with its roots in Oakland, California.

Sir Maejor Page (Photo Credit: Facebook/ Sir Maejor Page Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta//Atlanta BLM Protest- Steed Media)

That is not the case of president and CEO Sir Maejor Page of Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, who incorporated his organization and solicits donations, As reported by multiple news organizations including NPR, Creative Loafing, the AJC and rolling out, Page has been a divisive force in the Black Lives Matter movement in Atlanta. On multiple occasions, when protest leaders in BLM had meetings with city government officials and were at a stalemate and left the room, Page would stay behind and state he was speaking on behalf of the movement and later give statements to gathered media who were unaware of anyone’s role in the BLM movement in Atlanta. He soon became a sought-after guest on FOX News and other outlets because he told a different narrative. In time, Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta was formed and has its office at a downtown Atlanta high-rise.

When this writer first tried to speak with Page, he was told, “I do not do phone interviews.” Rolling out wanted to speak with Page about a number of issues that included him impersonating a police officer on more than one occasion. He was also called out by the LGBT community for claiming he was a member of the Metro Atlanta Fugitive Squad and falsely detaining and manhandling a Black woman protestor he had a personal issue with in the past. Recently, Page posted to the Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta Facebook page an almost hour-long video diatribe against gays and lesbians who are activists in the Black Lives Matter movement across the country. During the video, he identifies the names of individuals, their cities, and sexuality and why he has a problem with Black LGBT activists. Needless to say, it caused outrage among many within the BLM movement — not just LGBT members.

Rolling out will continue to spotlight the voice of social justice in Atlanta by speaking to various activists to get their perspectives.

Here is the president & CEO Sir Maejor Page of Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta:

SIR MAEJOR PAGE, PRESIDENT OF BLACK LIVES MATTER GREATER ATLANTA EXPOSES BLACK LIVES MATTER AS A SECRET LGBTQ ORGANIZATION PREDICTION: I know folks will leave nasty comments and call me homophonic for stating the facts, but the same folks leaving the nasty comments are those who identify as LGBTQ. #BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #SirMAejor #BLMExposed #BlackLivesMAtterExposed

Posted by Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta on Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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