For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

As protests against systemic racism swept through the boroughs of New York City earlier this summer, Brooklyn-based photographer Ximena Natera looked for a different perspective. She found it by going low, literallyfocusing on the youngest voices trying to be heard at the marches.

Using a small portable backdrop, Natera set up on June 9 at the large children’s march outside the Brooklyn Public Library, where, she says, “dozens of kids occupied a miniature podium.” From there, several kids took turns giving speeches. Natera says that one of the children, Christalina, “promised that in order to stop the violence against black children, she would become ‘a teacher and a cop and the president.’” Another speaker that day, Kennedy, implored everyone at the march to help defeat COVID-19 by wearing a mask.

A few days later, on June 13, Natera brought her backdrop to a small gathering in Bed-Stuy that was organized by Gigi Ramos, a black grandmother of two who offered snacks and games to the kids there, in addition to a space to voice their concerns about police violence and racism. “Our children have mental issues before they even enter school,” Ramos told Natera. “We need to have space for them to be kids.”

For the parents of these engaged children, kid-focused events not only offered an opportunity to interact with the world outside their homes after being cooped up for months, but also allowed the children to have a voice in their own futures.

Xavier, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Zaida, Prospect Park South, Brooklyn

Son of Brigetta Jimenez, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Daughter of Natania Everley Palacios

Olivia, Prospect Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn
Mona, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

Siblings Hope and Jona, Prospect Park South, Brooklyn
Opal, Brooklyn Public Library

Madison, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Ella, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

Almiras Fuller’s daughter, Prospect Park South, Brooklyn
Christalina, Brooklyn Public Library

Dash, Prospect Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn
Amina, Prospect Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn

Nayla, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Classmates Kennedy (left) and Amina (right), Brooklyn Public Library
Kennedy and Amina, Brooklyn Public Library

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate