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Hundreds Attend Black Lives Matter Rally at W.Va. State Capitol

Between 400-500 people attended a Black Lives Matter rally Sunday at the State Capitol in Charleston. The event was peaceful, with no violence reported. 

The rally was organized by several groups, including Call to Action for Racial Equality. It was spearheaded by two young women of color who grew up in Kanawha County, Gabrielle Chapman, executive director for the Call to Action for Racial Equality, or CARE, and by Takeiya Smith, the student president of Black Lives Matter at West Virginia State University.

“To the black women who have been fighting, are fighting, and continue the fight for justice, we share so much love to each other," Smith said at the rally. "We know there is no black knight in shining armor coming to save us. We must uplift our place and position in feminism by ourselves." 

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Credit Kara Lofton/ WVPB
Organizers of the event, Gabrielle Chapman, executive director for the Call to Action for Racial Equality, or CARE, and by Takeiya Smith, the student president of Black Lives Matter at West Virginia State University.

All of the speeches at the rally were given by women, including by Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer, a resident of Alderson.

“So for those of you who don’t understand what Black Lives Matters means, it means we are equal and our lives mean just as much as everybody else’s,” said Beisemeyer, the daughter of Harry Belafonte, the singer and Civil Rights Activist from the 1960s. She and the other speakers urged the crowd not to become complacent, and to fight for racial justice.


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