Several men brought Confederate flags to a Black Lives Matter rally in Tennessee over the weekend but it did not dampen the spirit of one 9-year-old girl who said she was hopeful that racism would end.
On Saturday, about 300 people marked the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death by organizing a march in Johnson City to call attention to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
But two white men counter protested by bringing their own Confederate flags to the rally.
“This flag is not hate, it’s heritage,” one of the men said as he made his way through the mostly-black crowd.
However, the effort to disrupt the event did not succeed, and activists said that they were pleased with the turnout.
“I never, in my day, thought I would see this.” Monique Hall told WJHL, pointing out that the "march had nothing to do with" the men who brought Confederate flags.
“It’s just been really hard to live here,” she added, nearly in tears. “To see this it makes me really hopeful that this place can change.”
But it was 9-year-old Patiance Gardner who best articulated the hopes of activists.
“I really hope racism just stops, and people don’t judge people by their skin color,” she said. “They’re making sure everybody fights racism and we’re sticking together.”
"Everybody is God's creatures," the 9 year old concluded.