Black Lives Matter Vigil
By Marion Edwards (TheLorian)
Few of the many countless deaths within the black community have casted a looming shadow over the world. Anger, defeat, and pain has filled the lives of many families. On Sept. 24, Loras students, faculty, and community members gathered to send prayers, peace, and love to the black community.
A field of lights shines over Loras College’s MARC Lawn. The Black Student Union and Du-Peace & Justice organizations held a candlelight vigil in honor of the black lives taken from racism and police brutality. Over this past year and years previous to this, countless of African Americans have been killed from police brutality.
The ceremony began with each attendee grabbing a candle in honor of those we have lost. An opening prayer was said as several faculty and students read off different prayers and intentions for the many lives lost during this past year and years past. The most memorable part of the candlelight vigil for most attendees was the presentation of all those killed. Many of their names as well as the pictures of protesters with memorable words were shown.
“One particular quote that was shared on the video that stuck with me was, ‘Am I next?’ After seeing this, I immediately froze with the thought that this is a question African American youth and adults ponder on as we constantly see our people being killed at the hands of law enforcement or hate crimes through social media,” fifth year senior Terrianna Black said. Black was among the students that attended the candle light vigil.
“The candle-light vigil filled me with emotions of both anger and sadness as I heard each of the names of individuals who lost their lives to police brutality and racism” Black said. During the summer, Black attended many protests in her hometown of Milwaukee, being an avid supporter for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Being in that atmosphere was emotional, yet an eye opening experience as to how there’s strength in numbers and if we want change, we must demand it rather than ask. The work of protesting and advocating on behalf of police brutality and racial injustice is far from done and will continue until the phrase “liberty and justice for all” is equally implied within our Criminal Justice system regardless of the color of one’s skin.”
“I thought to myself, ‘there’s a good amount of people here.’ But I also felt like ‘there’s so much work that needs to get done,’” Senior Jonathan Quinn said, who also attended the event. “I remember getting chills after reading a few quotes but I can’t remember them specifically. I remember not being able to move after the video, like my legs wouldn’t walk. So I just stood there for a little bit.”
Like many in the crowd, the atmosphere created by the presentation consumed the silence on the lawn.
“I was wearing a shirt with the face of Demetrius DuBose who was killed by police in 1999. Although I didn’t have the chance to meet Demetrius, I did have a chance to meet with his family and one thing that I think a lot of people don’t see is the family,” Quinn said. “But I wanted to say that the family may get attention and support from the community now, but when the protests fall off and people stay home, the family is still feeling that pain, probably more than during the movement.”
The event concluded with a prayer as students and faculty stood for a moment of silence with their lit candles. The world is holding a candle light for those who have lost their lives from police brutality and racially fueled events. A candle is held to their families who are missing a piece of their own world. May they rest in power.
Black Lives Matter.