What happened on a Montgomery, Alabama, boat dock earlier this month has captured the attention of millions of people and has put Montgomery again at the center of conversations around race.

Black folks, in particular, are calling what happened by many names, the Montgomery Brawl, the Alabama Dock Wallop, and the Alabama Sweet Tea Party. An anthem has been written about it. Art is being made. And there are odes to the folding chair inventor, Nathaniel Alexander, who was a Black man.

CNN anchor Sara Sidner ripped ex-President Donald Trump’s attack on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as an example of why Black people feel “under attack” and have rallied around the boat dock brawl that started when a group of White boaters attacked Black riverboat Co-Captain Damien Pickett.

During a speech in New Hampshire, Trump attacked D.A. Willis — who at that time was expected to indict Trump for election crimes — by calling her a “young racist” and making other false smears against her.

Before an interview on CNN Tonight or Montgomery, AL Police Chief Darryl Albert, Sidner laid out the cultural significance of the brawl, and citied Trump’s rant as an example of why the brawl has had such a rallying effect on many Black Americans.  

“Why is a story about a fight on a boat dock in a small American town creating all this reaction?

It has a lot to do with many Black and brown folks feeling like they’re under attack in different ways right now, from whitewashing American history in Florida, to a famous country singer using imagery of Black protesters, warning them what would happen if they did that in a small town, to the hopelessness of crime affecting Black communities, and this latest slight just today.

These are Donald Trump’s words on the campaign trail and about the Black female DA in Georgia:

TRUMP: “They say there’s a young woman, a young racist in Atlanta. She’s a racist.  And this is a person that wants to indict me. She’s got a lot of problems. But she wants to indict me to try and run for some other office.”

“It is hard to fight against all of that, but, in this case, Black people in particular showed up for each other. Black bystanders, men and women, jumped in to help the Black co-captain who was just trying to do his job.”

Even the Rolling Stone weighed in on the brawl.  

“With meme production in full overload, it’s easy to dismiss the response to the fight as just online humor. But the real reason the videos hit so hard is because of the underlying desire for Black people to see their community fighting back. On an almost daily basis, it feels like there are viral videos of Black people in America being unable to defend themselves, being targeted, or being victims. But for many people online, the Montgomery brawl, as outrageous as it was, represented the opposite: Black people standing up for themselves.

Moreover, the dock where the brawl took place is a historic location, one where Black slaves arrived in Montgomery before they were taken into the city and sold to plantation owners. The town itself was also a major historical battleground for Civil Rights, where Rosa Parks’ bus boycott and other protests against segregation occurred.”

The Rolling Stone concluded their article on the fight with this profound analysis of Black America’s response.  

“Online, the general consensus seems to be that the fight wasn’t just a physical altercation. In a way, it was representative of a Black community willing to take wins as they come — even in the form of a White folding chair.”