- Xavier Young and Marjorie Alston got engaged at a Black Lives Matter protest over the weekend.
- They have been together for two years and are expecting their first child together.
- Demonstrators cheered them on as Young asked Alston to marry him, and a photographer who happened by the scene documented the moment.
- “Black lives matter, and black love matters,” Young told Insider of why he wanted to propose at the protest.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Xavier Young and Marjorie Alston said they weren’t looking to fall in love when they met in the summer of 2018.
Young, 26, and Alston, 23, were both working part-time jobs at a laser tag arcade.
“It was just a fun little job and a fun summer, and we ended up dating,” Alston told Insider.
The couple has been together ever since, and now they’re expecting their first child together.
Alston and Young decided to attend a Black Lives Matter protest over the weekend
Protests have erupted in the last week and a half over George Floyd, who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pinned Floyd’s neck on the ground beneath his knee. Thousands of people have since gathered in the United States and around the world.
Alston decided she wanted to go to a protest in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the couple is based, after seeing how much the protests were growing.
“I never went out to protest before, but I was like, ‘This is the time,'” Alston told Insider of why she wanted to go to a demonstration.
“Seeing police brutality hits close to home because it could be anybody,” she said.
Young decided to accompany Alston both because the movement is close to his heart and because he wanted to protect her and their child.
“I wanted to be safe,” Alston said. “But we made sure we got out there and our voices were heard.”
The couple had been talking about getting engaged for a while, and Young decided the protest was the perfect occasion to pop the question
“I’ve known I was going to propose for a while,” Young said. The couple had already looked at rings together.
He continued: “But I knew I wanted to propose at the protest when she wanted to go. Going to the protest was entirely her idea. I felt like if she wants to go out there and get in the trenches, she’s definitely the one.”
“What better place and what better time?” Young said. “We’re protesting something unjust and ugly, and I felt like I could bring some beauty and some light to the situation.”
Plus, Alston had a fresh manicure, making Young even more sure the protest was the perfect time to ask her to marry him.
So, Young packed the engagement ring he had purchased a week before the protest in his bag, and he was ready to go.
After the couple had been protesting for over an hour, Young got down on one knee in front of a crowd of people
“We were headed back toward downtown, and I kind of just saw that as the perfect opportunity to seize the moment,” he said.
Young proposed to Alston after they had been walking for a while, as onlookers cheered for them.
“It was a very lighthearted moment of the protest,” Alston said. “At this point, everyone was just chilling. The crowd was joking with each other. It was like walking with a big crowd of friends.”
Charles, a photographer and the co-founder of 4C Visuals Group, happened to be there to capture the moment on camera.
“I didn’t expect a whole lot of people to crowd around or even pay attention to me,” Young said of the moment he proposed. “I thought it would be something just between us.”
The couple said it felt good to be surrounded by their community during such a personal moment.
“The great thing about it for me was that it wasn’t just black folks around us celebrating,” Young said. “It was white folks, it was Hispanic folks, everybody that was there.”
“It brought people together,” he said.
‘Black love is important, especially for us right now,’ Young said of why he wanted to propose at the protest
“Black lives matter, and black love matters,” Young told Insider.
“She’s hilarious,” Young said of why he loves Alston. “I can get mad about stuff or be kind of upset, but five minutes later Marjorie just makes a comment and she’s not even trying to be funny, but it’s hilarious.”
Alston echoed Young, saying: “We have a fun relationship. We’re in a serious relationship, but we have fun all the time. I haven’t been in a relationship like that ever. We laugh all day together.”
“We’ve been in the honeymoon phase for two years,” Young added. “This is just how we are.”
The couple also told Insider they’re thrilled to start their family together.
“I’m excited about this baby,” Young said.
“We’re both really excited to be parents,” Alston added. “That’s all we’ve been talking about since we found out. If we’re already having fun together, when the baby gets here, it’s going to be a blast.”
“We’re building a family,” she said.
- Read more:
- Photos show how the Black Lives Matter protests compare to civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s
- A video of Meghan Markle talking about her experience with racism has resurfaced amid protests
- More than 10,000 people have been arrested in anti-police-brutality protests across the US since George Floyd’s death
- A couple has been living in an 800-year-old castle in Ireland during lockdown
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