Hundreds gathered for the March for a Hate-Free Hillsborough at the Old Slave Cemetery on Aug. 31 to protest against the Confederate presence in the community.
The march was organized in response to a Ku Klux Klan rally that occurred the previous weekend in front of the Orange County Courthouse. This week the rally was organized by the Hate-Free Schools Coalition and Hillsborough Progressives Taking Action.
The marchers proceeded from the Margaret Lane Cemetery to the Orange County Courthouse, holding signs in support of minority, LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities. After the march, speakers and organizers from other affiliated organizations like the Northern Orange NAACP and Native American Democratic Auxiliary Caucus gave rousing speeches to the crowd.
Latarndra Strong, one of the event’s organizers and founder of the Hate-Free Schools Coalition, said she was the first person who appeared last week to counter-protest the KKK rally, initially facing Klan members alone.
“You don’t expect to come out of your home in 2019 to see Confederate flags or the Ku Klux Klan in full regalia,” she said. “It was shocking. There was part of me that was in disbelief.”