Black Lives Matter: Signs appear outside churches all over Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We’ve seen protests focusing on racial issues here in Huntsville, but some community leaders felt they needed a next step.

So we get signs placed outside traditionally black churches. They read, “Black Lives Matter”.

St. Luke’s Pastor T.C. Johnson explains, “We were looking for something to do, and since something had started on a national level, we wanted to ensure that Alabama and Huntsville particularly was participating in this campaign to let the rest of the nation know that this is the heart of the issue of race.”

You can find them all through Huntsville, appealing to the passing traffic. Johnson tells us they have over three-hundred.

They’ll be out until the end of the month.

Like the nationwide protests we’ve seen, the signs focus on recent killings of black men and boys by police, several of them without criminal charges following.

Johnson adds, “It’s as if, across this nation, black lives can be taken without any kind of redress at all.”

So these churches push the conversation forward.

Huntsville City Councilman Richard Showers does specify, “We’re not taking away the fact that all lives do matter.”

Johnson continues, “This is to say that we, not as just black people, but all people should say, black lives should be just as valuable as any other life.”

Because amidst the signs you can find what you could reasonably call a fear.

Showers tells us, “We don’t want to see it happen in Huntsville.”

Johnson notes that it’s not unrealistic, “It’s just through the last two years since we had the new chief that hasn’t a young African-American died in the hands of the police department the last two years . . . before that it was probably one every four months or six months.”

So yes, the signs you see have a national context but also a local relevance for the people who put them there.

 

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