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A 9-year-old girl in Charlotte, North Carolina, has captivated the nation with a stirring, emotional speech about police brutality in her home city.

In the days since the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of the police and unrest in the city, Charlotte has seen racial tensions reach a boiling point. But few leaders have been able to express the pain Black people across the nation have been feeling quite like Zianna Oliphant.

Before breaking into sobs and in between pauses to compose herself, she said,

“I’ve come here today to talk about how I feel, and I feel like that we are treated differently than other people,” she said. “I don’t like how we’re treated. Just because of our color — doesn’t mean anything to me. I believe that. We are Black people, and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest because y’all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights.”

She explained to council members she’s been living in Charlotte for all of her nine years, but she has “never felt this way.”

“It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed, and we can’t even see them anymore. It’s a shame that we have to go to that graveyard and bury them. And we have tears, and we shouldn’t have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side.”

Zianna told NBC News that she spoke up because she is “not shy” like other kids and wanted to express how she feels about police brutality.

“I was just feeling like what the police are doing to us, just because of our skin, is not right,” she said, “and I was kind of emotional because, like the things I said is like powerful to me, so that’s why I started crying.”

You know what they say about “out of the mouths of babes.”

Check out the whole video in the clip above.



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This 9-Year-Old Girl Just Said More About Police Brutality Than Most Adults We Know  was originally published on