Couple Gets Engaged in Middle of N.C. Protest: 'Making History While Witnessing History'
Last Saturday, Alston said she wanted to attend a protest in downtown Raleigh, and so Young called out from his job at a local grocery store to protest with her, making sure to grab the ring he’d had locked up in his car glove compartment “just in case the moment presented itself.”
“[A crowd] gathered pretty dang quick,” he says of his proposal. “I had to stop and start over again, ‘cause I know she couldn’t hear me. I looked around and was like, ‘Whoa, there’s a lot of people here. So I gave it a second, gathered myself, let her get her composure… The funny thing is, she couldn’t even hear me. She knew what I was asking, so she just shook her head yes.”
He adds: “She probably didn’t want the attention, but you know what? She deserved it.”
The protest in Raleigh was just one of hundreds across the United States that have emerged in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism following the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as he cried out for help.
Though Young never expected to propose in the middle of such a pivotal moment in American history, he says he wouldn’t be surprised if a photo of their engagement ends up in future history textbooks as part of a chapter on 2020.
“The more and more that I see people are still finding out about it or freaking out about it, the more and more epic it is,” he says. “’Cause 2020, I think it’s unanimous, we’re in agreement: we’re like, ‘This is going down in history.’ And with this whole COVID, and the state of America now socially, they’re going to talk about it.”
As they await the birth of their child, whom they’ve dubbed “Baby Batman,” Young and Alston have already started wedding planning, and hope to tie the knot in September 2021.
“We’ll have a baby by then," he says, "so we’ll just take that baby and hit the dance floor."
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