‘Youth March for Freedom’ highlights Louisville civil rights history on Independence Day

Updated: Jul. 5, 2020 at 9:12 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A “Youth March for Freedom” in downtown Louisville was one part protest and one part history lesson.

According to organizers, the theme of the event Saturday was 'rewriting and reclaiming out history.'

“Today [Independence Day] is usually used to celebrate history,” organizer Alissa Vance said. “And we need to celebrate our history in Louisville, civil rights history, history that we’re not usually taught about in schools. About what history happened here.”

The march drew hundreds of participants and highlighted several significant sites to Louisville’s civil rights history.

The event began at The Belvedere near the statue of York, the enslaved man that accompanied the Lewis and Clerk expedition. The march progressed through downtown Louisville stopping at the Muhammad Ali Center and the Roots 101 African American Museum.

The group also visited a pharmacy where young people held lunch counter sit-ins in the 1950s.

“That was just like wild, it’s really eye-opening. It’s literally everywhere,” protester Kaylan Nigh said. “We’re still learning stuff about our history that I didn’t even know about so that’s cool.”

Protesters like college junior Evan Farmer said he’s proud of his generation for leading the way.

“Throughout history, it’s always the young people driving these movements. Civil rights movement, the green revolution, on and on, it’s always the young people,” he said.

Young people on Saturday made it clear that they continue to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.

“We’re the ones that are implementing. We’re the ones that are marching. It’s very important for all of us to be out here to be able to implement that change or it won’t happen,” organizer Aubri Stevenson said.

The march ended at Jefferson Square Park with a vigil for Breonna Taylor, David McAtee and Tyler Gerth.

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