Unity walk held to kick off Black History Month

The walk featured a memorial to the Black Panthers, an organization founded in the 1960s to combat police brutality.

By Brianna Patt | Staff Reporter

The Black History Month Unity Walk held Jan. 31 was an opportunity for camaraderie amongst the African American students on campus and offered a chance for the observation of crucial moments and figures in black history.

“Participating in this is very important to me because I feel like we (African American people) need to embrace ourselves more,” sophomore Malayshia said.  “We’re kind of at a state where Caucasians seem like there always above us, but they’re not. We are equal. Participating in this will show the importance of who we are.”

As it began, the group of students had an atmosphere of excitement hanging over them. At the front one male student lead the group, reciting Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Along the unity walk, one of the three monuments that were set up was a tribute to the infamous leftist organization, the Black Panthers.

At the Trayvon Martin memorial that appeared at the end of the walk, an African American student in a black hoodie lay on the steps of the Rayburn Student center face down with a bag of Skittles in one hand and a can of Snapple in the other.  At the top of the steps, there were two chalk outlines of the “dead body”.

“What I found inspirational about it (the Unity Walk) was that they had different stops for different monumental moments in black history,” junior Kitarah Harvey said.  “For example, with the Trayvon Martin memorial. That’s what hit tremendously, when he was just laying there, it was just so real. Also, with the Black Panthers, and just seeing all the important people who are apart of black history.”

Brianna Patt
The memorial to Trayvon Martin was held on the steps leading into the Student Center.


The Unity Walk also had a stop with monuments dedicated to great African American men in sports such as Jesse Owens, Colin Kapernick, and Muhammad Ali, and men who were activists who helped the civil rights movements of today and the past like Martin Luther King Jr.

“I don’t want to be cliché but definitely Martin Luther King.” Harvey said. “He basically inspires us to be ourselves and to you know, try and be accepted in the society were in now. Without much violence and stuff like that. So, that’s what I really like about him and I feel like he is a person who would inspire us to do things like this.”