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Gallery: Black Student Union hosts march and protest

March brings attention to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement

The Franklin Staff


Franklin College's Black Student Union brought attention to ongoing national conversations about policing and racial justice Wednesday with a march and protest.

Around 50 students, faculty and staff attended the event. It started on campus outside the Napolitan Student Center and continued through downtown Franklin.

It's the first event of several planned by the union to continue conversations about race, equality and justice after a summer of civil unrest that began with the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in May. A bystander captured on video a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while arresting him.

Participants in the march encountered one counter protestor during the event, who circled them on a scooter during their march and at one point waved a confederate flag.

The Black Student Union plans to host an open forum on campus next week to encourage deeper conversations about race in the campus community. Franklin College remains a predominately white institution but has embraced new efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, with President Kerry Prather's administration announcing a new comprehensive plan to do so in August.

Black Student Union President Alexis Cheatham discusses the history of the Black Lives Matter movement and sets ground rules for the march and protest Wednesday. She urged participants to follow COVID-19 safety protocol. Photo by Isaac Gleitz.

College employee Russ Norris holds a sign before the march and protest began Wednesday. He explained the symbol on his sign emerged from the first Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, Missouri, that followed the death of a Black teen, Trayvon Martin, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin. Photo by Isaac Gleitz.

Students march down Monroe Street near BoJak's Bar & Grille chanting "no justice, no peace" on their way through downtown Franklin. Photo by Isaac Gleitz.

Participants continue marching down Monroe Street near B2S Life Sciences as part of a Black Lives Matter protest Wednesday. Photo by Carolina Puga Mendoza.

A bystander honks and raises a fist in solidarity with the crowed as they continue their march in downtown Franklin Wednesday. Photo by Carolina Puga Mendoza.

Students, faculty and staff continue their march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement Wednesday down Jefferson Street. Photo by Carolina Puga Mendoza.

An unknown man on a scooter drives past the protestors waving a confederate flag as they continue their march down Jefferson Street. Photo by Carolina Puga Mendoza.

The unknown man with the confederate flag circled the protestors several times as they continued their march in downtown Franklin. Photo by Carolina Puga Mendoza.

Participants responded to a counter protestor who waved a confederate flag at them with loud chants of "Black Lives Matter" Wednesday. Photo by Carolina Puga Mendoza.

At the end of the march, participants continue chanting "Black Lives Matter" for several minutes as they return to campus. Photo by Carolina Puga Mendoza.


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