Southern University’s ‘Human Jukebox’ band will no longer march with Nyx

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Marching band director takes issue with ‘All Lives Matter’ post from captain

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) – The director of bands for Southern University says its “Human Jukebox” will no longer lead the Mystic Krewe of Nyx after its captain, Julie Lea, posted an “All Lives Matter” message on the group’s Facebook page in late May.

Hundreds of Nyx members, including float lieutenants and board members, have resigned since Lea refused to step down as leader. Her Facebook post was in response to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd, who is Black, succumbed after a white Minneapolis police officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes to restrain him.

“We will not participate in an organization whose leader proclaimed ‘All Lives Matter’ during a time of global unrest in response to the fatalities of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement as well as those who carry out hate crimes,” Southern director Kedrick Taylor said in a letter Monday. “’All Lives Matter’ has been the rallying negation of ‘Black Lives Matter’ since the latter’s inception. While some will argue that they ‘see no color; when they stand by ‘All Lives Matter,’ color is apparent.

“We are part of one of the nation’s largest historically black institutions and most of our students are black,” Taylor continued. “To not acknowledge that black people deserve to matter is unacceptable. It sends a message to our students that their lives seem only to matter when they play, dance and march.”

Taylor added that Southern will continue to perform with organizations and krewes that “recognize our students and university’s mission.” He also thanked Nyx members, “many of whom are Southern alumnae,” for their support over the years.

Southern joins a host of local high school bands that have also decided to forego marching with Nyx.

By: Greg LaRose

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