“I can’t breathe –#givethemavoice.”
On Oct. 3, University of Southern Mississippi freshman psychology major Cayla Derbigny had these words taped across her face as she sat in the center of Shoemaker Square.
In her lap, she held a poster board sign that read: “Liberty and Justice for All?”
Two days prior, Two African-American USM students who sat during the national anthem had drinks thrown at them and were called derogatory terms, according to the students’ twitter feeds.
That Monday, more than 120 students attended the protest in support of the students who had sat during the anthem. The protest started with prayer then a student confronted why they were all there that day. Several students then stepped forward and began singing gospel songs, one of which was Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise.”
“Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills /knowing my help is coming from you/ Your peace you give me in time of the storm/you are the source of my strength/ you are the strength of my life/I lift my hands in total praise to you.”