On Saturday, a couple about to be married held their wedding celebration at a Black Lives Matter protest marching through downtown Philadelphia.
After postponing their massive wedding party due to the threat of coronavirus, Dr. Kerry-Anne Perkins and Michal Gordon planned an intimate ceremony with immediate family and close friends for June 6th at The Logan Hotel in Philadelphia.
A few days before the ceremony, the hotel notified the couple that protestors planned to gather for a peaceful demonstration in front of the hotel on the day of their event.
“At first our biggest concern was rain,” Kerry-Anne says. “Then it became the protests.”
“It would be really nice to join a protest,” Kerry-Anne remembered thinking in conversation with Vogue. “We’re watching the movement; we’re feeling the movement. We hadn’t had the chance.”
The couple hadn’t been able to join any protests due to their demanding work schedules, so they decided to take advantage of the timing and make what turned out to be Philadelphia’s largest protest ever, a part of their special day.
Kerry-Ann described how she felt as she got ready for the ceremony: “We could hear the sounds in the air. We could hear the sounds of the helicopters above us. You could almost feel the energy around you, and in addition to that, we’re about to get married.”
When she stepped out outside to meet Michael, protestors gathered around Kerry-Anne.
Michael went to meet his bride when he heard the protestors from just around the corner.
Michael told Vogue, “All of a sudden I started hearing the crowd around the corner, and I [realized] it was all for Kerry. I come running around the corner and I see Kerry standing with a circle of people around her just cheering, and she’s literally standing there looking like a Black princess. That’s all I see.”
“These peaceful protestors, positive energy, cheering, yelling, people with their phones out taking pictures and videos. And Kerry’s just standing there looking beautiful as can be. And I walked up to her and took her hand, and she was shaking. The energy and passion and moment, everything that was going on, was just blowing through her.”
“It was the most empowering thing to be there at that moment. The narrative of love, of Black love, doesn’t always get put out there. But that’s what [the movement] is about, that’s what we’re looking for. Black love is a beautiful thing. Black love exists. Black love is powerful.”
Protestors, grateful for such a positive and inspiring display, posted videos of the moment.
so glad to have captured this moment. A wedding during the protests in Philadelphia today. pic.twitter.com/nhO6IO9lXm— alexis saw mcr!! (@ireally_lovemcr) June 6, 2020
Kerry-Anne told ABC News, “It ended up being a very powerful moment.”
“Not only are we feeling the movement of the people … but I’m meeting my husband, on our wedding day, as a strong black man and a good representative of who we are as people, what our men are like, what our culture is like. It was just a very, very empowering moment for us considering all of this is happening at one moment in one time.”
“We all see this injustice. We all want to see this needle shift away from the status quo and … that made this day more memorable in ways,” Michael Gordon said.
The happy couple is having a mini-moon in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and plan to go to Jamaica for their honeymoon when it is safe to do so.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to take to the streets in protest of police brutality and racial injustice in a movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25, 2020.
Our nation’s history will be forever changed by these days of protests, and congratulations to Kerry Ann and Michael who have shared their love in the spirit of solidarity for a future that promises humanity, peace, and justice.