NAACP march represents human and civil rights


University students chanted “We are human” as they marched through campus to celebrate civil and human rights Thursday afternoon.

The “I am [wo]man” march was inspired by the university’s Civil Rights Bus Tour, LaQwen Nichols, an active member of the university's chapter of NAACP and organizer of the march, said.

With Black History Month ending and Women’s History Month beginning, Nichols said she wanted to do something that would emphasize the continuous presence of rights for people of all races, genders and backgrounds.

“I am a black woman for more than 28 days of the year,” Nichols said to the students and staff member who attended.

The 14 participants marched in pairs with signs hanging around their necks that read “I am a man” or “I am a woman.”

Participants walked through the Commons and along the sidewalk by South University Drive and West Cantey Street, gaining the attention of some passing drivers and students.

The march showed appreciation and support for the advancement of civil rights in America so far, Michael Nincehelser, a junior neuroscience and psychology double major, said.

“We need to show unity and a united front against anyone who is willing to discriminate against skin color, background or ethnicity,” Nincehelser said.

The march was a representation of the Memphis sanitation worker strike, a daily march supported by Martin Luther King Jr. where members of the strike carried signs that read “I am a man,” Nichols said.

People who are unaware of their human rights do not realize that if you lose one it can affect everything else, Paula Monthie, an administrative assistant who marched, said.

Students need to get involved in their futures because people’s rights are being threatened, Monthie said.

“If people don’t step up we are going to lose a lot of the things that we fought very hard for already,” Monthie said.