The teens, who met on social media, organized and led the largest protest in recent history for the city
We’ve seen people of all ages joining the protests over the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who was murdered by police when a former officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. So, it shouldn’t be any surprise that six teenagers organized and led a 10,000-person protest in Nashville — because kids can do amazing things.
Jade Fuller, Nya Collins, Zee Thomas, Kennedy Green, Emma Rose Smith, and Mikayla Smith — ages 14 to 16 — were strangers before connecting on social media while sharing their outrage over Floyd’s death. They quickly turned their rage into action and organized a rally — the largest in recent history — according to The Tennessean.
These are the 6 inspiring teens who organized yesterday’s peaceful protest in Nashville that drew *at least* 10,000 people:
— Kathleen Serie (@Fox17Kathleen) June 6, 2020
“We all met on Twitter,” Collins told news station WTVF. “And that’s how easy it is to do something like this.”
Soon, the teens began FaceTiming and formed a coalition they named Girls 4 Change, backed by Black Lives Matter Nashville. They made a plan, and soon after, the rally was scheduled.
More than 10,000 people turned up to the rally, holding signs that read, “Black lives matter,” “Justice for George Floyd,” and “End white silence,” according to WTVF. Many read poems and gave emotional speeches about their experiences. They paid their respect to Floyd by all laying down in the street. Their motto for the rally? “Not one more.”
“As teens, we are tired of waking up and seeing another innocent person being slain in broad daylight,” Thomas said in a speech during the event, according to Nashville Scene. “As teens, we are desensitized to death because we see videos of black people being killed in broad daylight circulating on social media platforms. As teens, we feel like we cannot make a difference in this world, but we must.”
The protestors filled a roughly one-mile stretch of Rosa Parks Boulevard near Bicentennial Park. They eventually made their way towards downtown Nashville, where they were stopped by police, knelt, and read out the names of other black men and women killed at the hands of police, including Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Here are a few photos I was able to catch during this afternoon’s Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Nashville. Thousands packed the streets of Music City: unlike anything I’ve ever seen. #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor @FOXNashville pic.twitter.com/542oOG5S3U
— Kathleen Serie (@Fox17Kathleen) June 5, 2020
Almost everyone at the Franklin rally is masked; of the bystanders, none are. Literally have seen no one not at the rally with a mask pic.twitter.com/n4PFVa0XHm
— Tennessee Lookout (@TNLookout) June 4, 2020
“It’s your brothers and sisters. It’s people in your community, people you know who are feeling oppressed. Their moms and dads are getting killed because of their skin color, because people are afraid of them,” Smith, one of the six teens, said. “We can all come together as a community to stop what’s happening and that the racism ends in our country.”
“We need to change America,” Fuller added. “I want you guys to just see everyone.”