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New Civil Rights Trail marker in downtown honors Southern students who fought for equality

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BATON ROUGE - Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Tourism unveiled a new Civil Rights Trail marker outside of the historic Kress Department Store Thursday afternoon.

The monument represents the brave effort made by a group of Black Southern University students who staged a lunch counter sit-in at the Kress building on March 28, 1960. Similar sit-ins followed in the days after, and sixteen students were expelled from Southern University. 

After the arrests and expulsions, thousands of Southern University students marched from the university to the State Capitol building, demanding equality. Those events played a significant role in shaping the American Civil Rights movement, and the new marker aims to draw attention to the courage of those trailblazers.

"The students were revolutionary for what they did, and we honor their place in history. We honor their courage and commitment. We honor their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their lives and the lives of their families that were forever changed by what took place at these three locations across the city of Baton Rouge," Dr. Robyn Merrick said.

The marker can be seen outside of the Kress building on Third Street in downtown Baton Rouge. 

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