Manual BSU organizes city-wide ‘Black Lives Matter’ rally


Manual BSU student Kyra Welch rallies the group of supporters who are attending the Black Lives Matter vigil on West Broadway Sunday, Jul. 10, 2016. Photo by: Robbie Spencer

Fons Cervera

Manual’s Black Student Union organized a Black Lives Matter rally which was held on Sunday at the Carl Braden Memorial Center in West Louisville.

The rally was organized  in response to the recent killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota by police officers.

The rally began with speeches on the front lawn of the Braden Center.

Hundreds of people of all different races gathered and listened to young members and leaders of Louisville’s black community, along with an original member of the first Black Panther Party speak their thoughts on racial issues today.

Manual student Kyra Welch (10, HSU) is a member of the Manual BSU and was an organizer of the event. Welch also spoke at the event.

“I’m sick of being sick,” Welch said. “How would you feel if I told you that in 2011, a black mother was shot by a police officer in front of her 10-year-old daughter?…That 10-year-old girl was me.”

Sean Waddell (10, HSU) and Vantasia Coles (10, YPAS) also spoke at the vigil.

“I wanted to join this movement because I feel that it is my obligation and my duty to make sure that I have a better life for my children,” Coles said.

With the speeches concluded, the crowd took to the streets of Broadway.

Passing cars met supporters’s chants of “Black Lives Matter” by honking their horns.

Avalon Gupta Verwiebe (Class of 2016) was among those who came to show support for the cause at the rally.

“I attended the vigil and the march because I believe that as a person of mixed race, but also someone who passes as white, it is important to stand as an ally. As the [Black Lives Matter] movement gains attention, white allies need to show that they stand with the movement and support the actions of those who are oppressed,” VerWiebe said.

The event concluded where it had concluded at the Braden Center.

As people turned to leave one girl remained holding up a  sign that read, “When black lives matter, then all lives will matter.”