By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Palisadian Paul Davis organized a peaceful protest that took place in the heart of Pacific Palisades on Thursday, September 24.
A few dozen community members supporting Black Lives Matter started a march at Palisades Recreation Center and made their way through the Village, holding signs calling for justice and reform.
Davis, who was born and raised in the Crenshaw and Adams District of South Los Angeles, has persevered since he and his younger brother were victims of a drive-by shooting nearly 14 years ago. He explained that he attended Palisades Charter High School to stay out of trouble, and that his neighborhood wasn’t the best.
Davis also shared the large role basketball played in his life: from playing as a kid, to spending time as captain of Pali’s 2006-07 varsity team and playing professionally. He eventually turned down overseas offers with the goal of starting a youth program.
Now he’s been in the Palisades for seven years and spends his time as a basketball coach for his Program Humble. He spread word of the protest by inviting his team members and their parents.
“I sent an email … and told them I just couldn’t carry on like everything was OK,” Davis said to the Palisadian-Post, “and I wanted to do something peaceful that could reflect that.”
The protest had participants of all ages—but most notably, a lot of children. Davis spoke on the importance of teaching the youth and keeping them informed, even at an early age.
“I think the thing about the kids is that … we forget they see and hear everything,” Davis said. “From the first day of the lockdown, of quarantine, and COVID … coming to the time of racial equality and justice, and the lack thereof and all of the protests going on, the good and bad things that are happening … the kids see that too.”
Davis said he always works to provide children with a platform to speak, and that when they shared how they were feeling the day of the protest, it was humbling.
“Parents were in awe too because … [the children] see the racial gap, they see that their parents in the Palisades have a lot more money than people on the other side of the freeway, they’re very aware,” Davis said. “It was real, it was cool.”
Palisadian Courtney Lewis marched with her children and said that they have participated in other protests in the last few years but “this one felt more serious and personal.”
“There were no loud chants, no one trying to stir anything up, the kids were so focused,” Lewis said. “PD gave an emotional speech that resonated with everyone who attended.”
Sue Antoni also marched with her children on Thursday and explained why they were there.
“When PD asked us to support him in this peaceful protest, we didn’t hesitate,” Antoni said to the Post. “My children have heard so much about Black Lives Matter and there’s been so much going on with that movement, and I wanted them to understand it from his perspective.
“I’ve explained to them as much as I can from my own perspective, but PD was able to explain to them … why the idea of Black Lives Matter and the movement itself means so much to him and what it means to grow up in this country as a young, Black man, so I thought it was important for them to hear that … and they learned a lot that day.”
And to Davis, that’s what’s it all about.
“It is so important to lead, to teach these kids that the world is bigger than the bubble we live in,” he said. “It’s really important to be humble and be accepting of everybody, no matter their differences.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.