FORT WAYNE—Scores of community members made a pilgrimage, April 27, down South Anthony Boulevard in a march organized by the Fort Wayne Chapter of the NAACP in an effort to spur people to do what they can to stem the tide of violence in the community. Participants used signs to get others to thinking about picking up “a book” instead of “a gun.”
Indiana State NAACP President Barbara Bolling spoke to the crowd gathered during the march. Bolling, an attorney from Gary, was in town during the march to support the local NAACP branch, which has been concerned with the amount of shootings in Fort Wayne, particularly among young black men. Fort Wayne NAACP President Dr. Saharra Bledsoe said the organization has been looking at a number of strategies to help curb the violence and has even held a seminar with FBI officials to help community members understand police actions and procedures and to educate citizens on how to deal with police during stops and other investigations. Ironically, the day of the march, another young man was killed during a police action shooting, which a number of people in the community say they will be investigating.