MCPHERSON—“No justice, no peace” was among many chants shouted in the McPherson community during its first-ever Black Lives Matter march on Saturday afternoon.
Even with a high temperature of 98 degrees, an estimation of 400 people in different age groups all united in McPherson College and walked two miles to Lakeside Park with their signs, making their voices around the community heard while being escorted by the McPherson Police Department.
For Molly Anderson, a McPherson native and one of the head organizers of this march, it was an overall success and she was pleased with the turnout and how peaceful the protest was. She believed the message was finally delivered.
“We tried to make all of this impactful. Personally the size of the crowd during the march just blew me away,” Anderson said. “A lot more turned out than we originally expected. I think things went smoothly. A lot of voices has been heard and needed to be heard. That was our entire goal for that.”
As all the protesters met up at Lakeside, the rally began with a moment of silence which lasted eight minutes and four seconds. That exact time was dedicated to the death of George Floyd, who was killed by former officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Speakers for the event included Jerry Bowen of the Church of Bretheren, Earnest Frazier who has claimed McPherson has his home for more than 40 years. McPherson Mayor Tom Brown also took the stage in the end as he talked about his life experiences. Growing up in the streets of Youngstown, Ohio where he interacted with the blacks and hispanics, Brown knew what needed to be done. His speech focused on a orm of solidarity, something he wanted pass to the people of McPherson.
The protest may have ended in two and half hours, but for Anderson, it is only the beginning as she hopes to start more rallies and continue on to educate the community about racism and black Lives Matter.