Montgomery Brawl Harriot Riverboat Crew

The Montgomery Boat Brawl etched its history on social media

I seriously don't condone violence. I even turn away from looking at beatings in a film but I was captivated by the videos of the Montgomery Boat Brawl all day long as the story unfolded.



@selfmadetiktokjunkie The somg… #montgomeryalabama #riverboatbrawl #wegotaction #montgomerybrawlswimmer #montgomerybrawl ♬ Montgomery Brawl - Gmac cash


The back story

It all happened because a pontoon boat was parked where the Harriott II, a riverboat with over 200 passengers needed to dock and the boat owners refused to move it. When the captain of the riverboat, Jim Kittrell, only received hostile responses and profanity after 45 minutes of trying to get them to move their boat, he threatened to call the police. Afraid that the police might discover alcohol, the intoxicated boaters abandoned their boat which was still in the way of the Harriot.

In a final attempt, co-captain Damian Pickett, who happened to be Black, was sent to shore to move the boat and that is when the brawl started. Viral videos show the boat owners getting aggressive, jumping the co-captain and all hell breaking loose.

The unsettling image of a man being struck while simply performing his duties, compounded by the sight of him being jumped by six unruly, intoxicated assailants, struck a nerve. Responders emerged from all directions, fueled by a collective determination. This was not something they were willing to tolerate. It was as if an unwavering boundary had been drawn.

A young man can even be seen jumping into the water, swimming to shore to support the co-captain in his fight.   



More to the history

As it turned out, the instigators of this incident were no strangers to aggression. Not only did they already have assault records, the boaters even stole a golf cart of the crew before.

Social media users also swiftly contextualized the brawl within Montgomery's racial history. As Lurie Daniel Favors underscored on her Instagram Live, Montgomery was a hub for enslaved individuals and the Riverboat Front, where this brawl unfolded, was once an auction block. A lot of blood of our ancestors were flowing in those waters, said the podcaster.

From one of the most prominent slave trading communities to the bus boycott and the EJI’s Legacy Museum, located in a former enslaved auction warehouse, Montgomery added a new kind of occurrence to its racial history.

A United Front Amidst Chaos

The boat brawl is not only historic in the way people jumped into action but especially in the way it united Black people in the era of social media.

Even amidst the controversy, the memes and videos that emerged, showcased the Black community's resilience and unique ability to find humor amid distress. These lighthearted creations encapsulate the spirited response to the turmoil, capturing the essence of unity and strength that defined the aftermath of the Montgomery Boat Brawl.

The incident birthed unity in a way no one could have anticipated. An outpouring of support for the co-captain emerged from all corners, transcending geographical and racial boundaries. Here are the best of them all.

The best of the memes

The men who jumped into the water got his accolades as the first Black man who ever jumped into water to swim to fight for justice.

Montgomery boat brawl man who jumped into the water

Top 10 names given to this young hero: 10. Black Aquaman 9. JJ Fish 8. Michael B Phelps 7. Captain Hook 6. Catfish Cuz 5. Kofi Kingfish 4. Tyrone Lochte 3. 21 Tilapia 2. Lil' Namor 1. Shaquille O'Gills.

 Folding chair invented by a black man

While people acknowledged that hitting the woman with the folding chair was wrong, social media went ballistic when people found out a Black man by the name of Nathaniel Alexander, invented the folding chair. 

Celebration of the folding chair invented by a Black man.

 Folding chair jujutsu to the protective chair.


@mrrogersreview Man i loved the unity of my people #montgomery #riverboat #alabama #riverboatfight #montgomeryriverboat #fyp #chair #chairjutsu ♬ ChairJutsu Training - Mr. Rogers Review





@sir.manc “Cause I’d hate to have to pull my chair out on somebody” #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #fypシ ♬ A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton





In conclusion, the Montgomery Boat Brawl, while challenging our principles and sensibilities, reminds us of the shades that exist between violence and self-defense. Beyond the surface, it illuminates a history of pain, the complexities of human behavior, and the enduring spirit of unity that triumphs even amidst chaos.



@_iam_g Gotta keep a Alabama-slammer on ya 🪑🤣 #rivertrontpark #riverfront #riverfrontbrawl #alabama #montgomeryalabama #mintgomery #fight #viral #church #funny #veiws #likes #chair #flodingchair #swim #aquaman #brawl #alabamaslammer #park #AL #bama #boat #ferry #bucking #jamaican #dancehall #drift #teejay #dingdong #flair #jamaicatiktok #jamaicantiktok #jamaicantiktok🇯🇲viral ♬ original sound - Gee






♬ original sound - ophelia 🦋

 Humor aside, this one deserves a serious mentioning. * Caution, it contains profanty.


@skinny_mann #positiveenergy#alwaysbeats#negative ♬ original sound - Skinnyman46


There are many, many more, too many to add to this one blog. Feel free to share your best ones. 

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