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From the Oaks

#BlackLivesMatter: Dillard students speak out against racial injustice across the nation

NEW ORLEANS – On the heels of George Floyd’s premature death on May 25, protests across the United States rippled and erupted against racial injustice. Floyd, an unarmed Black man, accused of forgery, became the umpteenth Black person to be murdered by a police officer. In major cities, protesters organized and developed call to action agendas for government officials to restructure or defund law enforcement institutions. Dillard students, emulating the University’s mission statement, attended protests in their hometowns or New Orleans so that another Black life doesn’t become a hashtag. Here are their accounts on why they protested.

“These protests have been hard emotionally. Being out there on the frontlines takes a toll on you. Seeing these young black babies out there because this country, this system is killing us, it will never make sense to me. I want to stop seeing my black brothers and sisters get brutally murdered, it to be blasted all over social media and yet still receive no justice. Their lives matter. Black people have put their blood, sweat and pain into building up this country, and to receive 400 years of oppression and hatred in return is the real crime. We are tired. BLACK LIVES MATTER, so until that is recognized, I will continue to protest with my community, and be an advocate for change. #BlackLivesMatter.”
– Jada Sayles ‘22, Madison, Wisconsin 

“I think it was important that the youth have a voice in this unique moment in history. In Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” Frost talks about nature’s hardest hue to hold which is gold. Our youth won’t last forever, so I called a few organizers in our community because what we see going on in our country right now not only impacts the older generation but it has an impact on the youth. I’m tired of fighting but even more tired of seeing people die at the hands of racists and bigots, so it gives me relief to see justice in our community.”
– Traelon Rodgers ‘21, Dallas, Texas