Lehigh Valley social justice leaders: ‘America is beginning to see the black man as a human being’

Written by on April 21, 2021

 Lehigh Valley social justice leaders: ‘America is beginning to see the black man as a human being’

By Genesis Ortega

April 21, 2021

NAACPs of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton gather to honor George Floyd in early June of 2020. Esther Lee, president of the Bethlehem NAACP is pictured a speaking at the podium. Photo | Tracy Yatsko / WLVR

Social justice leaders in the Lehigh Valley are reacting to the guilty verdict on April 20 in the trial of an ex-Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd. 

Listen to the story.

Allentown resident and Community Activist Enid Santiago said she was nervous to hear the verdict. 

“I’m in shock still. We finally have someone held accountable for what they’re doing out here. I’m happy and I’m hurt that it took everything our country had been through since last year for this to happen,” Santiago says. 

There was no doubt in Esther Lee’s mind that a guilty verdict would be served. But it still hit home when she heard the news. 

“Oh what a relief, just a relief in knowing that finally America is beginning to see the black man as a human being,” Lee, president of the Bethlehem NAACP says. 

Lee says she was on the edge of her seat waiting for the news. 

“We can’t get overcome by this one decision. It’s a great one. Because this man found guilty, which has not happened on this level.”

The organization is planning a local Juneteenth celebration in Bethlehem, Lee says, and this news will give the community more to celebrate. 

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