Support for Jena 6 in Augusta

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

News 12 at 11, September 20, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The six high schoolers at the heart of the march got the support from a much younger generation of civil rights protesters both there in Jena, Louisiana and here in Augusta, as local Paine College students got their first real taste of the Civil Rights movement.

Paine College students lit a flame for a firestorm smoldering 700 miles away. "It affects me seeing as though I'm half white and my family is half white. It affects us to see things like that are still going on in some places," says student Robert Shuffert.

They are just a few of the new activists stepping forward on the world stage in light of the Jena 6 controversy.

"I kind of hope this will be a new generation in civil rights because once again, we're only one generation behind Rodney King," adds student Jamar Day.

In Jena close to 40 thousand protesters, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King III were on hand, but students also came in numbers. Many were new to the civil rights march, echoing those that came decades before.

Paine College student Tiffany Brooks went to Jena for the protest. "This is a good opportunity to show some naysayers about this generation that we are out here and we're concerned about what's going on as far as equality for all."

"It's time for us as students and as a black race to stand up for our culture and to just make a change. It's time for all of us to make a change in the world," adds fellow Paine college protester Keeshundra Jett.

Keeshundra and Tiffany are two of more than 50 Paine College students to make the pilgrimage to Jena, joining students from all over the country.

"What you'll find today across every race, gender, age group, you find people that care about civil rights around the country," says one protester.

A good number right here in Augusta, even some as young as high school. In fact, 90 percent of Josey High School students wore black to school, a symbol of support.

Darius Collins says he is overwhelmed by the support. "My heart proud to see that a school can come together to support something going on in a different part of the country. It shows that if there can be unity here, there can be unity there."


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