Memphis Deaf Community joins march in support of social justice in Downtown Memphis

Updated: Jun. 12, 2020 at 10:59 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Cries for justice from new voices on the streets of Downtown Memphis Friday night, the latest in a string of protests against police brutality.

A Friday night protest in Memphis that was much smaller than previous nights, but just as passionate, and new demonstrators joined the movement tonight: members of the black deaf community.

Organizer Devante Hill once again led a group through a familiar path through downtown, calling for an end to police brutality.

Memphis police blocked traffic, making sure protesters stayed safe.

New this time -- members of the Memphis Deaf Community marched in support of justice and equality.

Their interactions with police they say, are often filled with misunderstanding and sometimes violence because of communication barriers.

Social disparities also an issue.

“So we’re here today, because we still have white society as oppressing black deaf," Kiera McGhee of the Memphis Deaf Community. "They’re not being employed. They aren’t any employed in the education system, in the medical field and police field as well. There’s too much suffering so we wanna make sure black deaf people also have opportunities instead of making us suffer.”

We learned tonight that three black, deaf sanitation workers marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Junior in 1968, two of which are still living.

The third, Mr. William Stewart, passed in April. His memory was honored Friday night.

A phrase the crowd reacted strongly to during this march: “If you are complacent, you are complicit.”

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