Mahkeib Booker can remember when his father taught karate at the Peoples Settlement Building, and how he's hoping Black Lives Matter Delaware can help his community continue to grow.
Booker recently started a petition looking to drum up community support to push Wilmington City Council and other decision makers to give Black Live Matters control of the Peoples Settlement Building on East 8th Street.
"If we were able to obtain that building, I believe that Black Lives Matter could really be seen for what it really is, instead of people just seeing it with tunnel vision. They just see it as every time there's brutality or even crime, that's the only time you hear from Black Lives Matter."
Booker said he sees an organized Black Lives Matter building as a way to galvanize the community together more often, as opposed to short bursts, including the aftermath of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.
"When you look at that building, you would see the furtherance of the real work and the boots on the ground of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter was basically birthed out of righteous indignation, which means just being mad at something that is just not taking place. That building would really play a key part, because Black Lives Matter would be in the homes, the poverty, crime, the schools, and the community."
The Peoples Settlement Association was founded in the early 1900s already combines organizations such as Urban Promise Afterschool, the Eastside Civic Association, the NAACP, Daru Academy, and other groups.
Booker said by moving into that home, it could transform Black Lives Matter from a movement, to something that would be tangible, in his goal of raising the community.
"One thing about Black Lives Matter it's a movement, and bigger than an organization. When you say Black Lives Matters, you're talking about homeless, economics, politics, prisons, street activism, schools, there's so much that Black Lives Matter deals with besides police officers against our community."