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Black Lives Matter through the lens of an activist

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Black Lives Matter activist and photographer Patience Zalanga, 22, of Minneapolis shares her photos and experience fighting for social justice.

Below are a few of her photos and commentary about each image.

Police officer
August 2015, St Charles, Missouri
Patience Zalanga

Black Police Officer

This is the last picture I took before I got arrested. It was also the most painful picture for me.

This was the officer. A young black man. One that carried himself in a way that indicated that he hadn't been working in the police force for too long.

Or at least not long enough for the system to fully register or sink in.

Because he still had too much hope.

He stood there patiently waiting for me to step out of the car to handcuff me. I refused.

And as I kept refusing, I was hearing the screams and shouts of those that had been slammed and pinned to the ground. 

I was the only one left in the car. All the others had already been arrested. Just me.

I looked up at him. I remember having an overwhelming sense of confusion.

I saw a black man. I saw a brother. I saw a cop. 

From that point on, I avoided his eyes when he was speaking. 

I couldn't allow him to see how hurt I was.

Brunch on Grand Ave.
'Black Brunch' on Grand Avenue, St. Paul.
Patience Zalanga

White Mother holding white child

Reading off the names of black people who had been killed by the police.

Hands
Holding hands
Patience Zalanga

Two people holding hands at protest  

The day after the announcement of Darren Wilson's non-indictment.    We held hands with one another and a had a 4 1/2 minutes of moment of silence. The 4 1/2 minutes represented the 4 1/2 hours Michael Brown's body laid in the middle of the street before his body was taken away.