Activists in Madison County continue their efforts to support African Americans
“Actively trying to make our community better, really getting up and doing something, not just sitting there," Dr. Cindy Boyles explains her definition.
From helping people register to vote for a historical election, organizing protests, and memorializing history hundreds of people have showed up in west Tennessee for the voices that have not been heard for years. I talked with a few people that were at the fore front.
Wendy Trice Martin with the help of the Society of African American Cultural Awareness (SAACA) registered many people to vote for this past presidential election.
“I worked an election in the spring and i noticed that the voter turnout was very low and it concerned me, because I knew that this election was very important. The most important in my life time,” says Trice Martin.
Activist, Tracy Boyd, spear headed many of the protests following the death of George Floyd and he continues today as he seeks justice for many incarcerated African Americans in Madison county.
“I understand the protests are not PTO meetings, I understand that rallies and protests are not their to make people feel comfortable and anytime your protests makes the very people that your protesting against feel comfortable its ineffective," adds Boyd.
Boyles is a professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin, but she is also one of the main reasons a historical marker to memorialize lynching victims was placed in the Madison county courthouse lawn.
“When we finally got the permission from the county commission to put the marker in the courthouse yard, that was a bug thing for our committee. That’s were the lynching occurred that’s the proper place. That’s were it needs to be," says Boyles.
They all have one thing in common. They all saw a need in the community and went to action.
"We’ve always had to fight like hell for it and so whatever changes people are wanting to see. We are going to fight like hell for it," says Boyd.