Darius Prather and Leah Prather
DescriptionSpouses, Darius Prather (35) and Leah Prather (27), discuss the work they do as community activists in their home city, Columbus, GA, the changes Columbus is undergoing, and the better future that they hope to help create for their four children.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Darius Prather
- Leah Prather
Recording LocationColumbus Public Library
- Black community
- Black Panther (Movie)
- city councils
- Columbus Peace Initiative
- Community Activism
- Gun violence
- MLK Day
- peace rally
- Peaceful protest
- Police officers
- Racial issues
- Social Media
- Socio-economic Issues
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00:02 I guess my name is dirty sprite there. I am 35 years old. Today's date is Monday October 25th, 2021 and I'm here in Columbus, Georgia, and the library, and the name of my interview partner is Leah. Prather just happens to be my wife.
00:20 Hi everybody. My name is Leah Prather and I am 27 years old. Today's date is Monday, October 25th, and we're in Columbus, Georgia today. The name of Might interviewing partner is Darius Prather and he is my husband.
00:35 Alright, so let's get started. So how did we get here today? Let's break down the whole Logistics of everything. How do we meet? We officially met through Facebook. We had a bunch of friends in common over the years. And I had just got out of a long turned that relationship, and I decided to slide in his den.
01:08 Yes, I remember that counter exactly. So, I am here as well in the same predicament. Obviously, we were just kind of playing tag of each other on Facebook post in a message in here and they are but I really wasn't taking it seriously because I was also getting a relationship. So I was mostly just not looking for anything, and then we finally connected and it was an amazing fluid connection, and I'm very glad that did it. Sing with us right now is also our child all bouncing 6 months of her beautiful head bow and sheets in is amazing. This so,
01:59 How did you get started in? What you do here in Columbus? Or what is it that you do here in Columbus title? Application? Something like that. By 3. I am a photographer. That's more of a freelance project. But my money maker is system engineering. So I work for Salesforce. They're based out of San Francisco, and I've been in tech for about well over about 10 12, 13 years and it's been kind of keeping my lifestyle the way it is now, but when I do in Columbus, as far as activities and things like that, I'm bigger to activism and just kind of making my presence known as events for charity, did a black panther showing for a couple schools, and I was able to raise enough money to send about 250 kids to go see the movie for free popcorn and all
02:59 Stuff. That was amazing that God allowed notoriety and attention from that too. And we kind of tight team that as well done some other events, like peace. Rally those around the time that President Trump was elected, knows a lot of tension going on within the Muslim ban stuff like that. So I was able to execute that as long as your friend and it was a good way to get my boys out there and I really know the power of 16 my right to really protest and do it in a peaceful way that where people would let, you know, even the only proof, you can also hear your point and know, you know, they'll be more willing to understand where you're coming from and why you're upset about these things. Don't tell me about what you have done in Columbus. I'm well by trade, I am a social media marketer and I work in marketing and development of small business and corporate. I've been in that field now.
03:59 About three years. I originally went to college to be a sociologist. So I apparently I have a degree and just being woke so that really kind of help me out with my activism along the way. Over the years. I've hosted peace rally. Is that deal with a lot of the gun violence that we have here in Columbus, Columbus, peace initiative, is something that we started together and really just over the time. You can just tell how Columbus's change the violence is worse. The jobs are worse and things just aren't going. The way that everybody thought they would lately. So that's really where I got started. I've done a lot of different protests through the southeastern Georgia area, been through Atlanta Women's marches and just different things like that. Anything that I feel is important to my community is something that I'm going to try to jump on and we kind of do a really good job doing that together.
04:59 I'm so how you really feel like all that we've done. Where do you feel from the start of black lives matter protesting to? Now, how do you feel like those changes of Nate or how I feel like there is a good bit, of a surface level changes here and there people are less apt to be mostly racist and they will execute some kind of show of equality. He always a thought. But they will at least you know, acknowledge black lives matter is important. While also, you know, maybe doing their own thing behind the scenes, but people are at least saying and recognizing the black lives matter is, it's something that's needed and it's been kind of, especially around the time of the George Floyd incident, and things like that. Where the momentum was just
05:59 People were able to see that it was marketable for a business or no people or corporations to Market to Black lives matter. Because they don't understand that that is their demographic, demographic is also black. So not speaking those things and not acknowledging that, you know, racial issues gun violence against, you know, black people and people of color via no police officers has an issue. They kind of know hey, they need to say something if they don't say something then that might reflect to affect their bottom line or the budget or things like that. So I was able to leave see that there's some visual change and there's a lot of behind-the-scenes change that still needs to happen. Especially when it comes to court systems of legalizing, certain things that are hindering the black community and just a lot of social economic issue.
06:59 Redlining is of stuff like that. So there's a lot of work to be done. But I feel like we at least proved our Point here and we were able to show that we do care and I didn't feel like a lot of people in the tower as adamant about black lives matter, and being outspoken about it and being in a very
07:24 Very dedicated to what that mission statement was not bowing down to people that know all lies matter, type demographic or people just want to say. Okay. We we are in a note that situation right now. So we need to talk about this on that front. We were you've gotten some honors notifications and stuff like that. We get a city want to talk about that.
07:58 Honors that we got in were honestly, they came out of nowhere. There's nothing that we've ever done that, we've expected to receive recognition for, we expected anything back because all of the efforts that we put into Columbus of always came out of our own pockets of always came out of our own time out of work, so too, just be recognized or some of that on a level. Such as, you know, the museum, for example, we're going to be a part of the Civil Rights. Me. The American Civil Rights exhibit that they're having their and that's amazing. You also were a part of another project put on by Sammy Saxton and a couple others by CSU and they had a picture of us, you know, one of the marches that we did last year and just seeing, you know, your face on a wall next to something like, as important as Martin Luther King is it's, it's just a, a dedication.
08:58 That you will not. You can't compare it to anything. You really can't being put next to people that you read in books and seeing the change actually happen. It's honestly amazing just to see that but you know, things like that, they do not come from a place. They come from a good place but is never without that, you know, that fight that goes towards that there's never anything that we've done that belt easy here in Columbus. We're both from here. We both left a lot and came back and seen what's happened here in Columbus and it's so we can kind of track the change over the years, but it comes with a lot of controversy, sometimes when we don't actually like being controversial at all. We have a lot going on, but it seems that a lot of the times with those Awards also comes with the controversy and there's always going to be somebody there to say that they don't want you to do what you're doing, but to have the ability to stand up and keep doing.
09:58 After the resistance, I feel like has been something that we both have had to get over because he'll see, he'll see me at night. Sometimes I'm just ranting and going off and so upset about how could someone possibly be upset about something? That's literally just for good? Something that's nonprofit. Something that is here to make everybody better. So it can be hard to want to continue to do things when you're put up so much adversary sometimes. But at the end, getting those recognitions always helps at the end of the day, but I definitely wish it wasn't so hard sometimes, but I'm sure there's plenty of people who have been given the title of activists because it was never something I asked for, but I can definitely understand how given that title. It can definitely come with a lot along with it. Have you ever felt as if you were
10:58 Directly put up against anything or felt like it was made to fail sometimes when it comes to putting on nonprofit events and
11:12 On that note. It's popping Prince every time we've done an event from the first event done with my friend. Jesse and I are the protests and was tossed. It. You should be doing this. You should know kind of just stay back and it's not, you're going to start with your lane. You have a child and just all these different types of oppositions people kind of throw. It's you not because they really concerned but also because they're not doing the same thing and they don't like how your voice is actually being put out there and every time I do an event or a time we do anything in unison, it's always us planning, but we we plan for either directly you say. Hey, this is a problem. This is an issue. We need to know, do something about it and create an outlet, create a conversation. And then, what's know, the get the proper channels going on with us, get our permits. Let's look for event space. Things of that nature is so we can in a really get the ball rolling. And when we do the ball rolling people,
12:12 Kind of take a look at more notice and realize we're not just talking about it. But, you know, anytime we do discuss something. That's miss you. Like, if it's really a Taurus gun violence in the city or, you know, just so I need that's needed in the city. The last issue out had that was little bit on the funny side is the lot, this last MLK event, but the one prior it was created by the city. And there was also kind of host it by a whole bunch of figures within the city, but they didn't really use their Outlet to reach out to people coloring a city to get them involved and really get people colors that have reached the city. They kind of picked some token, white sand, some popular white people to be the spirit has a debt and do some black people here and there here and there. And then you kind of have to include black people for MLK event.
13:12 We kind of have to do that. You can't neglect the race of the people. And then, once we said something about it, and we're like, okay, this seems a little single one-sided, why? Why are all white people hosting this event? I haven't seen any black person that's been, no kind of the head, or at least a voice of the event. And once I said that, you would have thought, you know, I lived off of gunshots. It was terrible. I know you're not appreciative and your just always saying things and you, you're just being unappreciative of the fact that we are at least pray in space has been felt like we should just be okay with whatever is giving to us when within that we didn't personally attended events just didn't feel like that was going to connect us with MLK to message. So this year, we did our first MLK event and it was all hosted by us.
14:12 Buy us our own Pockets, we got sponsors and we got vendors in the artist and stuff like that, to really join. In those really a black effort and we went into the event. You felt like it was created by black people in. You know, what, the cause that was sitting around MLK's message and also this community and he's one of the few, you want those type of offense to feel like they're black advance. And not just because you know what? The city wants to be recognized for a certain accolades and they want to have a face that they care and we're really passionate people. You know, people that work on service road is Passion about what we do and passion about the message and just what we want Columbus to be a certain aspect. We feel like we're kind, of course to decide because we are outspoken, but we can always get things done and it in today refused again, congratulations that early. Like it's always been pushed back.
15:12 Someone else saying, I don't do that and then once we complete it and they realize how amazing it was. We're getting congratulations from the same people or roaches, get salads, because they're not going to care and gradually, doesn't acknowledge that we did a good job. So how do we do anything? What are we going to do to help Columbus, reach, the different levels that we feel because Columbus has changed a lot. I we definitely have to give it that. I always tell people Columbus is going through a Renaissance. It's not the same Columbus that you know, a lot of people grew on. It is changing. How old can we continue to work to change it? Because I know for me, a lot of the times after I get through those frustrations and after I get through all the issues, I still have to wake up in the morning and see those headlines that say, you know, what Columbus is worse than Atlanta Columbus, Job. Market's, not going up Columbus this but we can look out.
16:12 Window and we see hotels going up. We can see money going into these areas. So what do you feel that Columbus can do? Or we'll do it could be government wise or a for the people that can actually help some of these efforts outside of just, you know, that social media
16:33 Just being out there on social media, besides, that invest in the community and I'm like, not just a community that, you know, is attractive to do tourists, you know, the military crowd and, you know, the basis that they think that money really originates, They Don't Really invest somewhere. So take care of the people. The people of certain areas like y'all if you ever hear of Columbus, you're going to hear of downtown hotels. You going to hear you might hear of some of those hips Restrepo restaurants here and there. But you're not going to hear about like the historic district, which she know got bought by the city and in their neglecting that area. They want to let people use that space now, so, it feels like they use these blacks spaces and Nick like the black neighborhoods, or no purchases or argument of gentrified area, just for it to kind of this, not do anything, whatever, they feel like the issue to the south side.
17:33 I saw a big issue of gentrification and does not represent enough representation of a community's needs outside of just, you know, whatever, they see in those urban areas downtown Northside stuff like that. I definitely feel like, for me, one of the big things is people go out and vote. If you noticed that your representatives on your student, on your Council, boards is not doing what you put them in office to do. If you saw somebody going through this, you know, American Civil movement going on right now and they could not say the truth of what was going on. The, the George Floyd's, The Sandra Bland's, the Trayvon Martin's, all of those. If they could not say, I left a job because we were not allowed to talk about black lives matter. So if you, if, if you saw somebody as your representative and they didn't do any
18:33 Nothing to prove that you matter. During that time, vote him out. Just city council. Seats are out there. The mayor seat is coming up. All these different seats are coming up and if you see somebody out there, not doing their job, vote him out because that's the only way that Columbus is going to change. We can protest and March and do all these things as much as we want to. But if these laws don't change if these kids keep dying Columbus isn't going to be anything but a trashy Atlanta
19:07 All right.
19:09 A 1-minute. OK Google. You're a lot that we should run for Council this base off of how outspoken that we are and how we are. You think about that? I feel like people don't actually want what we do. They would like they want an outspoken person, but that comes with a lot of Personality flaws that do not go with city council. Being a part of elected city. Office means you have to do things sometimes that you don't want to. And I've seen too many people voted in and do the absolute different thing and we voted and said that everyone to do. So that's off the board for me. I rather
19:50 Do it with a freelance activism control. What we do here than if we were ever in elected office, but that's not to discourage anybody else feel like you can do it.
20:15 But yeah, I think that within the next coming months, we can I look forward to everything that's going on here in America. We saw some the good, some bad, some ugly just over the last past year with covid. Without people that we've lost on covid-19 people that we lost in.
20:36 Just over a year. It's been a tough year for everybody. So I just really feel like there's next year is going to be amazing 2021 went by way faster than 20/20. So I can only imagine what 2022 is when I do and just to continue to see if Columbus grow in a positive direction is going to take positive hands. So I definitely hope to see a lot of that happening and I hope to see a lot more happening just within our families within our home within our communities and it's a beautiful thing. I'm stuck here for a while before we have four kids all together and we still I feel like if we can find the time to go out and be in our community, do things and March and
21:32 Protests and hold up city council. Then. I think, I think somebody who doesn't have any of that. It is should be a positive thing in a positive change that they can probably inform it in their life. So I think that's really all I got.