By Jacquelyn Carter
“We are here for equality, saying black lives matter doesn’t take away from anyone else,” was the sentiment expressed at last night’s #BlackLivesMatter San Marcos march.
A diverse crowd of over a hundred Texas State students and community members attended the event. The march began at Greater Bethel Baptist Church and ended at the Historic County Courthouse where Texas State faculty, a former civil rights activist, Texas State students, and others addressed the crowd.
Russell Boyd II, co-organizer of the event, was approached by another student in response to the recent tragedies of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the officer shootings in Dallas. Boyd and other students were inspired by the Atlanta march and decided to bring this to their own community.
“I really hope that people really wake up and understand that there is an urgency for black lives,” Boyd said. “I want people to understand that we never said all lives didn’t matter. However, we’ve gotten the notion that black lives have not.”
(Russell Boyd speech)
Clint-Michael Reneau, Director of Disability Services, directed his speech towards white and white passing people on the reality of their privilege and using their voices in spaces to support people of color doing work with in the movement . Reneau encouraged them to become uncomfortable with their discomfort and stand up against racism within their families.
“Politicians and other folks will have you believing you have to have an either or mentality,” Reneau said. “Either you support the police or you support black people. I pray that you will not allow yourself to choose the either or, that you choose the and.”
(Dr Clint Reneau speech)
Other speakers such as Texas State student Malcom Bell told his experience of police brutality in San Marcos and Russell Boyd II shared a poem called “Letter to My Black Father.” Lawyer and Houston city council member Jolanda Jones stressed the importance of voting and protecting yourself against the police. Mayor Daniel Guerrero was out of the country but sent a proclamation to be read by the organizers of the event.
(Jolanda Jones speech)
Skyller Walkes, Assistant Director of Disability Services challenged the audience to interrupt foolishness of uninformed opinions in their daily lives and to surround themselves with people who are doing work in the movement. She emphasized that the passion can’t stop after this moment and it can’t start with only violence, it has to stay strong even in the most peaceful moments.
“Don’t let today’s sun set and let your passion sleep alongside it,” said Walkes. “This is only the beginning. The fatigue ability that affects all of us because we are tired, and we are angry, and we are hurting, but we know we have a fight to fight. Shake it off, take care of yourselves, but know this is only the beginning.”
(Skyller Walkes Video at BLM Peaceful Protest)
Anyone interested in additional information or how to get involved can email BLMSMTX@gmail.com.