OU Black Student Association Organizes March In Norman

Saturday, June 6th 2020, 6:48 pm

NORMAN, Okla. -

The Black Student Association at the University of Oklahoma organized a Saturday march in honor of George Floyd.

OU President Joseph Harroz was among those in attendance.

The march started at Norman High School where the day began with the sound of silence, eight minutes and 46 seconds of it, to commemorate the amount of time Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd's neck.

Silence turned to steps and the shouting of those calling for change.

Thousands of people pounded the pavement on Main Street. Norman police temporarily closed roads to allow the demonstration.

After about a half-hour, the march ended on the steps of OU’s Evans Hall.

"Some of us were really surprised by the turnout,” OU Black Student Association President Erin Palmer said. “We had no idea how big it would be.”

While the Black Student Association was pleased with the turnout, the most important part for organizers was the message.

The march brought a wide variety of speakers, from a Black Lives Matter representative, to several OU athletes, including women's basketball player Ana Llanusa and football safety Justin Broiles.

"We've got major plans for major change, but it starts today right here in this very moment," Broiles said to the crowd.

"You can't give yourself a pat on the back and just be like, ‘OK, I did it,’” OU Black Student Association Stompdown Chair Jayelene Bryant said. “Activism isn't just a day or an hour. It's a lifestyle.”