Many Baton Rouge residents came out to the second annual Black Out Loud conference.
“Black out loud basically means that you are not being coy or silent or passive about what you ant in your humanity,” Donney Rose, founder of Black Out Loud, said.
Local poet Donney Rose organized the conference. He says its a way for people to take on issues important to the black community.
“Its been some powerful discussions taking place throughout the weekend,” Rose said.
But, it was on the written page that this conference got its roots.
“Black Out Loud began as a book project that I was working on in 2017 celebrating everyday blackness so from that book project I thought about what would it look like if we kind of brought some of those words to life,” Rose said.
Now expanded to three days a year, the conference also addresses criminal justice reform.
“We’re saying that we are going to be unapologetic in our pursuit of equity and in our pursuit of our humanity being fully actualized,” Rose said.
Checo Yancy was arrested in 1983 and now dedicates his life to helping others not make the same mistakes he did.
“I spent 20 years in prison, 7309 days. I’ve given my life to do criminal justice reform,” Yancy said.
Sunday he came out to share his story and let others who were once incarcerated know that they too have rights.
“It’s another things that we want to do and let folks know, and the guys know and ladies know that you can now be a registered voter if you’ve been out of prison for five years,” he said.
Participants shared their backgrounds and brought family members. Ronald Haley brought his daughter.
“I think its important for her to see this great and positive event and I’m one of the speakers today and just to show community empowerment,” he said.
His daughter Tiffany says she’s happy to support her dad.
“I’m happy that my dad brought me here to learn,” she said.
Rose says he’s grateful for the large turnout and is eager to see where this conference will go from here.
“What we want to do ultimately is be a conduit to help enhance equality and equitable treatment for everyone,” Rose said.