Concerned Student 1950 organizes ‘We’re Not Afraid’ march
Students from UMSTL, UMKC and SLU participated in the march.
Nov. 13, 2015
After violent threats directed at MU were made on Yik Yak Tuesday night, the student group Concerned Student 1950 organized a “We’re Not Afraid” march throughout campus to counter.
The march was originally scheduled for Wednesday, the day after the threats were made, but inclement weather forced postponement of the march until Friday.
“We just wanted to build some self-advocacy within the black community, to let people know that we’re advocating for change but that we won’t be afraid of external forces,” original Concerned Student 1950 member Maxwell Little said.
Little said the shooting threats on Yik Yak earlier this week were a motivating factor in putting on the march.
“Oh yeah, (the threats) had a lot to do with it,” Little said. “We just wanted to show the community that we can’t continue to let white supremacy silence us. We’re not afraid to go to class, we’re not afraid to learn and have a peaceful learning environment because it’s what we deserve.”
At least 100 people marched, including students from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the University of Missouri- Kansas City and Saint Louis University. Larry Saddler, a sophomore at SLU, came along with a larger group.
“I have a lot of people at SLU who don’t want to get involved,” Saddler said. “Being a political science major, this gives me that world view and realize that things are bad right now. If I can help in any way that I can, then I’m for it.”
The march began in the parking lot of the Gaines Oldham Black Culture Center and from there, the march continued up Rollins St., chanting the whole way:
“Racism means we’ve got to fight back!”
“If I don’t get my rights, I ain’t going!”
Then, Jonathan Butler and Ayanna Poole, who led the march, turned the march toward Greek Town. Marching into Greek Town had a specific purpose, Little said.
“Clearly it was a message that we want unity on this campus,” Little said. “We want to let them know that, hey, we’re not against you, what we are against is institutional racism and systemic oppression. We just want them to join in.”
As the march continued, several people emerged from the fraternity and sorority houses to watch. Some of them decided to join in, as many of the people in the march beckoned for them to join.
The group also made several stops throughout Greek Town to allow those who were lagging behind and to catch up. During one stop in the heart of Greek Town, Butler organized the people to let out a “war cry.”
“We are going to continue to fight back because racism lives here, but so do we,” he yelled.
The march continued through the streets from Greek Town, occasionally halting oncoming traffic. It finished in Jesse Hall, where people chanted the chorus of the popular Kendrick Lamar song, “Alright.” The chant started as a whisper and grew to fill all of Jesse Hall with sound.
Then, the march filed their way into Jesse Auditorium, where a few of the original members of Concerned Student 1950 led more chants. Butler acknowledged the fact that more than 100 schools have declared their support for the movement.
Little saw the event was encouraged by the amount of people who participated and the support nationwide.
“It’s great to see,” Little said. “We have support from all around the country and we’re supporting everyone around the country. We’re just thankful for the support.”