Florida A&M University students are preparing to wear black or green this Thursday.
The colors are being worn in protest of the injustice against the five high school students who are awaiting trial in Jena, La. for their alleged involvement in the assault of a white teenager.
This is one of the many racially charged events that occurred in the town when nooses were found hanging on a tree after a black student asked permission to sit under it. Prior to the incident only white students sat under the tree.
Courtney Atwater, 18, a freshman pre-pharmacy student from Atlanta said she will be wearing black or green in support for the “Jena six” movement because she feels what happened to the students were unjust.
“I definitely support the Jena six [movement] because I know that this is not a fair trial,” Atwater said. “If they were not black, the outcome would have been completely different.”
She said a similar situation happened in her hometown of Atlanta in the Genarlow Wilson case, which consisted of a black male who was convicted of raping a white woman when both of the parties said it was consensual.
Some students feel that the “Jena six” incident is a reminder to the nation that racism still exists.
Augutus Jones III, 21, a senior political science student from Palm Bay, said he has the obligation to support the movement by wearing black to show support for the students involved in “Jena six.”
“As an African American male, I have seen discrimination first hand. Now it seems as if I’m seeing discrimination on a national scale,” Jones said.
“I feel as if young men are being discriminated against by the color of their skin,” he said. “As current president of Phi Beta Sigma, we take the initiative to utilize different projects to give the student body information on what has happened.”
Like Jones, Brandon Wilson, 21, a criminal justice and social work student from Eustis is also planning to wear black on Thursday.
“I wish they had ‘Jena six’ shirts,” Wilson said. “For the shirt in particular, I want people in the country to know how this is still going on.”
Wilson said the “Jena six” incident is not getting the publicity it needs, and the punishment for the students is too harsh.
“A lot of people are not talking about it in the media,” Wilson said. “I think it was a form of a hate crime and the white boys should be punished a well.”
Amanda Wazna, 18, a sophomore political science student from South Jersey, N.J. said she will also wear black or green on Thursday, but she doesn’t know if it will be as effective for students on FAMU’s campus to wear it.
“I believe if I don’t live in Jena, I’m not going to get news coverage wearing black,” Wazna said. “I want to see a difference.”
Bradley Rogers, 20, a first-year pharmacy student from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. also has worries about the protest on Thursday.
He said that he hopes the protest brings something positive out.
He said that any color that students wear on Thursday as long as it unified, will show FAMU’s support for the students involved in “Jena six.”
“I hope they do the protest out of love for the people on trial instead of hatred for those who persecuted those in trial,” Rogers said.
For more information on the “Jena six” incident and its petition visit http://petitiononline. com.