With their courthouse squares, Friday night lights and backing the blue, small Texas towns aren't known as hotbeds of protest. But in the last few days, small cities have been joining in with big cities across the state to demonstrate in support of the Black Live Matter cause.
One North Texas example is Waxahachie — the Ellis County seat is 30 miles south of Dallas with a population of around 38,000, 30 miles south of Dallas. KERA reporter and Waxahachie resident Stella Chávez watched a protest of around 60 people in her hometown on Saturday, almost two weeks since George Floyd's death under the knee of a Minneapolis, Minn., police officer May 25.
Not only have smaller cities been taking to the streets, many have taken to Twitter. Take a look at the protest experiences of Texans from well outside the state's metro areas — some in towns with notably racist histories:
An estimated 60 people turned out for a March for Black Lives & rally in #Waxahachie. They marched from @FinleyJrHigh to the Ellis County Courthouse on the square. #GeorgeFloydProtest @keranews pic.twitter.com/nVdJFsYpKt
— Stella M. Chávez (@stellamchavez) June 6, 2020
I've got to be careful of what I say, cause of the Marine Corps and all, but marching in that peaceful protest in Waxahachie was life-changing. Police marched with us, black, white, asian, and hispanic all coming together for the greater good. No violence, no blaming, just love
— Devin Cady (@good_ol_texas) June 5, 2020
Waxahachie proud of y’all it was beautiful #BLM
— Keshawn Anderson (@keydotsauce) June 5, 2020
It is very awesome to hear that waxahachie and red oak had protest recently,it warms my heart that small towns can come together to do great things
— Fermin Rea (@pickledsteak) June 7, 2020
From Red Oak, just north of Waxahachie:
Organized My first protest.This makes me proud to be an American and proud to see that red oak community will not stand for injustice !!! pic.twitter.com/RjwGo8yPbM
— ✭ Jacob ✭ (@jake37alvarez) June 4, 2020
In Vidor, 10 miles from Beaumont and 95 miles east of Houston, in southeast Texas:
If you grew up in Texas anytime in the last 50 years, you’ll know what a big deal this is. https://t.co/t4hBTdHkaw
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) June 6, 2020
▸ RELATED | Texas Monthly: A Q&A With the Organizer of the Black Lives Matter March in Vidor
In Alpine, in West Texas, north of Big Bend National Park:
This is all happening down the street from Sul Ross State University — the school named after a Texas Ranger and confederate soldier, who became governor of Texas.
— Carlos E. Morales (@celizario) June 6, 2020
In Howe, Texas, 56 miles north of Dallas and 25 miles from Oklahoma:
Had my own little protest today in my Texas small town of 3,000 people. It was a lot of staring, but a few claps and thumbs up. Only 2 people yelled at me. Seems like a good day. I'll be back at it tomorrow #protests #BlackLivesMattters
— Lil J Bits (@lilyjbits) June 6, 2020
In Jasper, in Deep East Texas:
We marched in Jasper today as well. pic.twitter.com/HlBvIZPiYd
— Lewis For Congress (@RLewis4Congress) June 7, 2020
Jasper made international news after the three white supremacists murdererd James Byrd, Jr., by dragging him from the back of a pick-up truck in 1998. His death was one of the inspirations for the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009.
In Hondo, 40 miles west of San Antonio:
Ayala: George Floyd protests come to small-town Texas https://t.co/Mvxh66wYDM
— Dan (@DWestemeier) June 6, 2020
Weatherford, 30 miles west of Fort Worth:
there were protests in WEATHERFORD TEXAS yesterday
im having a hard time wrapping my mind around that.
— travis genetix (@travisgenetix) May 31, 2020
In Stephenville, 80 miles west of Fort Worth:
My small town in Texas (20k ish) had a BLM protest today. Completely peaceful, and police walked with them. I was expecting 30 people. Hundreds showed up. There is hope. This is a very racist town. pic.twitter.com/L9Ikp8y5K5
— The Church is actually a marsupial. (@chairhair22) June 3, 2020
Texas Small Town Protests, close to home, THIS IS RURAL COUNTRY! Stephenville Texas pic.twitter.com/sXgG0E4xaR
— TruthJustice&ThePatriotWay (@TruthjusticeT) June 6, 2020