Mara Johnson, protester with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Photo and Interview.



Mara Johnson, protester with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Photo and Interview.


A photo and interview from a local youth protester on the intersection between the Covid-19 pandemic and the BLM movement.


Z- First, what is your name and age?

M- My name is Mara Johnson and I'm 19 years old.

Z- How have you been personally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?

M- I had to give up my internship, missed three weeks of work, had my schooling switched to online, had to spontaneously find a new place to live in St. Augustine so I could keep my job... I had to get tested when someone tested positive at my job.

Z- How do you think the world has changed in the past few months?

M- I think that Trump has once again embarrassed us on an international scale; the US corona virus cases are rising as all other nations' cases fall. The entire planet experienced the same experience at the same time, which never really happens. Even with world wars, it's only a few countries. The world is going to punish China for their use of wet markets, international travel will probably never be the same. Priorities will never be the same. The planet is thriving from our diminished use of its resources. Basically, everything is changing. Hopefully more permanently. And we're realizing how many people put their comfort before other's safety. Some of these people lead our government. One thing I realized is that it's not that people didn't care before, they just didn't have time. I feel like more people have been in protests this year than every before in our lifetime.

Z- Why are you out protesting today?

M- I struggled to make the decision to protest because I felt so emotionally drained by everything that happened. I asked myself why black women always have to be strong and fight, why can't I just feel sometimes? So I let myself just feel for a little bit, and then I said 'I need to do something'. Because I post all over social media about all of this, but I wasn't physically doing anything. I didn't think that was right.

Z- What does police reform mean to you?

M- It means a more diverse police force, more even policing in different kinds of neighborhoods, it means body cameras on every single cop that must be worn on at all times (within reason), it means dismissing cops with racist, sexist, and abusive histories. It means punishing cops as harshly as we punish everyone else if not more for committing crimes.

Z- Do you think the world is changing for the better?

M- It depends on how we, as a whole body of people, decide to respond to it. To be completely honest, it feels like it's going to shit. But it seems to be lighting a fire in some people.

Z- You already mentioned this a little, but I think it's important. How do you think Covid-19 has influenced people in their urgency to commit social action?

M- Definitely. Between the countless black lives being taken by police, and the corona virus, the different political scandals, and the upcoming election, I think people are realizing that life is short and the time to act is now.

Z- Finally, how do you think this era will be remembered?

M- Hopefully, as a revolution and the beginning of America's shift to democratic socialism.

Z- Perfect. Thank you so much.

M- No problem!


Zachariah Brown


July 28, 2020


Zachariah Brown


Photo and interview




Zachariah Brown, “Mara Johnson, protester with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Photo and Interview.,” accessed September 26, 2023,

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