The FAMU Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted its first major event since the recent re-activation when they gathered FAMU students in a march to the B.L Perry Library.
Shanequia Jones, assistant president of the organization, said that their goal for the event was to encourage students to cast their votes for this election.
“Our right has been taken for granted. Our ancestors died for us to be able to vote,” said Jones.
Alongside the marching students was FAMU’s Interim President and other faculty and staff.
Dedrick Douglas, an attendee and current FAMU student, came to be a part of the event although he had already voted.
“I see the leadership and passion from my peers who invited me out, therefore I knew I had to stand for a bigger purpose and support,” said Douglas.
Souls to the Polls: Millennial March, began at 1 p.m. at the eternal flame in the center of FAMU’s quad. The march went all the way down the set, past The Palmettos, and continued on down South Adams Street until the group reached the voting precinct.
Local officers even allowed the students to march in the street, which blocked traffic and caused a few questioning glances from drivers.
Tallahassee branch’s NAACP President Dale Landry excited the crowd as they took off towards the precinct.
“In the Civil Rights Movement here in Florida, all of it started because of Rattlers up on this hill, and what they did downtown 60 years ago. You all have a chance to stop the clock from turning back,” stated Landry who was referencing the Tallahassee Bus Boycott and other acts of civil disobedience during that time period.
In addition to the Tallahassee branch and FSU chapter of NAACP members, members from around the nation also travelled to Tallahassee to help organize the march and join the crowd of Rattlers as they exercised their right to vote.
Brendien Mitchell, a Howard University alumni and the president for the Florida NAACP Youth and College division, was present at the march on Tuesday.
“These marches are geared to get out millennial voters. They say young black millennials aren’t voting,” claimed Mitchell.
He said he noticed with this group of voters that there is less energy and enthusiasm about voting as compared to the 2012 election. He hopes that voter turn-out amongst black millennials will not decline.
When asked about the importance of black millennial voting, Mitchell stated, “You have to be willing to vote and exercise that power so you can have a seat at the table. If you’re not at the table then you’re on the menu.”
Mitchell is part of the team that coordinated Souls to the Polls as a part of their statewide campaign for black millennials to get out and vote.
They had two previous marches that week at Bethune Cookman University and Edward Waters College. FAMU’s march is the third and last march in their series.