Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama, is known for its place in the fight for civil rights along with a number of notable establishments treasured by the culture. Now, “The Gump” is also known as the site of a brawl that had Black folks forming like Voltron to protect a security guard against a crowd of angry white boaters.
By now, much of the details of the Montgomery Riverfront brawl are out there but we’ll share a brief recap as seen in NPR and across social media.
This past Saturday (August 5), a scene unfolded on the Riverfront during the afternoon after a pontoon boat full of revelers decided to ignore the orders of a Black dock worker and angrily beat the man. However, the fight turned fair rather quickly as others rushed to aid the dock worker with very explosive results that we’ll share below.
Josh Moon, who works for the Alabama Political Reporter, posted a video of the brawl on X (formerly known as Twitter). From what details we have available, the pontoon boat tried to dock in the space of the Harriott II double-decker riverboat. The Black dock worker, doing his job, undocked the pontoon boat, sparking some of the guests to approach him. The mob of angry boaters began beating the man but one young man stood out above all.
Dubbed “AquaMane, ‘Ja’Michael Phelps,” and other choice nicknames, the teen crew worker only known by his first name, Aaren, swam from another boat to aid the dock worker and despite having swam a great length, still had time to dole out body slams and fades in defense of the worker.
Reports say that Montgomery police had arrest warrants out for some of the boaters who started the brawl. We’ll add details as they came on on that front.
In the spirit of old Black Twitter, X has done an excellent job of recapping, sharing jokes, memes, and everything else you can imagine regarding the Montgomery Riverfront showdown.
Without wasting any more time, check out our favorite reactions and videos below.
Photo: Ray Tan / Getty