BLM demonstrators march for change in small town

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

SCHOOLCRAFT, Mich. (WOOD) — Just under 100 people showed up for a Black Lives Matter march in Schoolcraft Wednesday evening.

Organizers from the area say they linked up with Black Lives Matter groups from across the state to hold the event, saying the marches have to continue.

“The marches have gone on and we’ve seen some changes, especially in bigger towns. But getting out here in small towns is what needs to come next,” organizer Maddy Ring said.

The group of people that gathered Wednesday say they’re continuing the call for change to end racial bias in the justice system schools and community as a whole.

“Schoolcraft is 95% white like the town I came from — a little old Comstock Park,” said Marshall Kilgore who now lives in Kalamazoo and is running for the school board. “But there is strength in numbers and strength in community. So, our white allies have a lot of power. They have their privilege that they can use, and they can protect and uplift Black and melanated voices.”

A Black Lives Matter march in Schoolcraft. (July 8, 2020)

Wednesday’s march was escorted by police. Protesters stayed on the sidewalk and everyone was peaceful. The group stopped in front of the Schoolcraft Police Department chanting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”

The group also walked to a home that served as a station on the underground railroad — the former home of Dr. Nathan Thomas. According to the National Park Service, more than 1,000 escaping slaves were given food, shelter and medical care there.

Years later, slavery has ended, but the group says racial discrimination has not.

“All lives matter, but it can’t until Black lives matter. And we wanted to bring that message to Schoolcraft, “ said DeWaun Robinson, the president BLM in Flint. “We don’t want these kids out here doing what we’re doing 20 years from now.”

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