_____ while Black.
Meet Eryn Alexandra, 26, a Willmington, N.C., native who was shot with a rubber bullet at a Black Lives Matter protest in Downtown San Diego. After living in America's Finest City for a year, Eryn took to being present within community activism. Eryn recalls the evening of May 31, 2020.
"I was completely dependent on people for everything. I couldn't drive, couldn't get dressed by myself ... because it's my dominant hand ... It was really hard being dependent on other people when you don't have those people to depend on. You have no family and a little to no network because you just moved out here for work."
While it is evident that a victim of gun violence must heal physically and emotionally, Eryn let it be known that this was a mental battle too.
When she went to the city of San Diego about the incident, she was told there wasn't enough proof to take legal action against the city, although she had video footage.
Despite it all, Eryn returned to work on October 16, 2020, with limited mobility. Physical therapy has been helping her gain strength back.
Eryn understands the reality we're living in more than ever, so she continues to fight for justice. Some will see that as strength and courage. Others may notice that despite her experience, Eryn believes there is no other option but to show up continuously.
When asked how she felt about staying in America's Finest City, Eryn said she would continue to live here. She plans to find more Black friends. Going out alone is something she loved to do, but now, not so much. Building a community around herself and transitioning back into "normalcy" is her biggest focus.
Eryn says that no one should think racism doesn't exist in San Diego — it's just "under the cover." She adds that being an ally is more work than people may realize.
shot on Kodak800 film in 35mm