New Yorkers perform emotional battle cry dance during Black Lives Matter protest

As the U.S. enters the ninth day of Black Lives Matter marches, hundreds of videos have circulated around social media showcasing the people and events occurring on the frontlines.

Over Memorial Day weekend, George Floyd was killed in police custody and his final moments were recorded and shared all over Twitter. An independent autopsy confirmed that Floyd died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” after a white officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes.

All four officers involved in the incident were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and now face charges

Protestors have taken to the streets to condemn police brutality and racist rhetoric while sharing cell phone footage to counter news outlets claiming that these are anything other than peaceful protests. 

One such video was uploaded by Antoinette Henry to Instagram. In it, a group of men take turns dancing in the center of a circle of people — some of whom, were playing music.

“It’s a battle cry,” Henry explained to In The Know. “It’s a way to keep from crying, an expression of grief.”

“NYC Protest ft Black Boy Joy, Pain, & Resilience,” she captioned the video. 

Dance has previously been used as an act of resistance and a response to racial issues. Movement is used as a means of “transposing the anger, pain and sadness of the outside world onto the body, and then onto the stage,” according to an interview with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director Robert Battle. Alvin Ailey himself even founded the renowned theater to address the sociopolitical climate in the 1950s, which, unfortunately, is similar to that of today.

Both of the performers Henry tagged in the footage — Fabricio Seraphin and Areis Evans — are professional dancers, according to their Instagram accounts. 

Commenters thanked Henry for sharing and agreed that more encouraging and positive footage like the dancing needed to be shared from the marches.

“If I could love this a million times I would,” one Instagram user commented. “This is the NY I know and love.”

“There’s still great energy in this darkness!” another person replied.

“Chills through my entire body!!” someone else added. “This is it people.”

Activism isn’t limited to standing on the frontlines, here are places you can donate to help the Black Lives Matter movement and the protestors.

More from In The Know:

Here’s everything you need to protest safely

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19 Black-owned fashion brands to support today, tomorrow and always

This top-rated Black-owned beauty brand is entirely inspired by baking 

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