“O-H-I-O. Racism has got to go!”
Black students at Ohio State University held a march and sit-in in the student union building this weekend, a show of solidarity for the anti-racism protests that have spread from the University of Missouri to several universities across the nation.
The group of around 500 students marched down High St. near the Ohio State campus in Columbus, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and calling for an end to racism on the campus of the public university, which has some 60,000 students across its schools.
At Mizzou, protests led to the ouster of the university's president. But at OSU, President Michael Drake made it clear early that he was paying attention: he stopped by the march to listen to the students' demands, a university spokesman said.
According to OSU's student daily newspaper, The Lantern, protesters asked administrators to issue a formal show of solidarity with the protesters at Mizzou. The next day, a statement signed by school reps and a protest leader, Lauren Todd,. didn't go that far. But it did acknowledge the action in support of Mizzou and the fact that black students and staff at OSU still experience racism.
“Today we are here for action; our siblings in struggle at Mizzou and universities throughout the country have called upon us to demand justice within the confines of the ivory tower. We are answering that call today,” student protest leader Sarah Mamo said, according to The Lantern.
Drake released the following statement last week: “The recent events at the University of Missouri, Yale and other campuses reinforce the vitally important role that universities play in confronting the issues of racism, intolerance and insensitivity in American society,” the release stated. “This moment is an opportunity for us to reflect and learn.”
Seth Herald is a freelance photojournalist represented by NurPhoto Agency and ZUMA Press.