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At Ardrey Kell High School, a rock and lessons in persistence
Student leader insists on BLM message
Published Friday, June 12, 2020 10:55 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Ardrey Kell High School student Kayden Hunt (center) led a project supporting Black Lives Matter after someone defaced her first effort.

Kayden Hunt fought back against racism.

The Ardrey Kell High School student body president and five others painted a boulder on campus to support the Black Lives Matter movement. It included names of those killed by police brutality, like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Hunt woke up Sunday morning to “Blue Lives Matter” and red paint covering the rock. The victims’ names were crossed out. She took to Instagram later that day, saying, “this is why we need something here.” She promised to continue fighting, to continue repainting and to prove that hate is not the answer.  Later that day, she posted an invitation for people to join her on June 8 to repaint the rock.

Participants were encouraged to bring blankets and towels to sit on, Black Lives Matter signs, flowers for the deceased, as well as speeches and spoken word art to perform. Masks were required.

There was an outpouring of support from community and corporate partners. Lowe’s donated paint, brushes and other supplies. More than 100 students helped repaint the rock, which now reads, “Hate Will Never Win” in addition to “Black Lives Matter” and the names of victims of police brutality like Keith Lamont Scott and Tamir Rice as well as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“Look around, this is beyond beautiful,” Hunt told the crowd at Ardrey Kell Monday. “I would have never expected this. When I asked people on my Instagram, ‘hey, do you want to paint this rock?’ I would never have expected this, and this many people to be here in support. It’s very emotional.”

Ardrey Kell is no stranger to racism. In March 2019, a white player on the basketball team posted a racial slur on Snapchat before the North Carolina 4A state quarterfinals against West Charlotte High. West Charlotte went on to win the game 69-53.

Last November, another white athlete sent her black teammate a racist Snap. The school’s principal David Switzer issued an apology for calling African Americans “colored folks” during a May staff meeting.


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