September 19, 2007
As thousands prepare to attend a rally in Jena, Louisiana, Norfolk State University held a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night in support of the so called "Jena Six."
Attendees say they gathered to let their lights serve as a symbol of peace, justice and love.
The incident started under a tree at Jena High School. Three white students hung three nooses from the tree after a black student was seen sitting underneath it. They were suspended for several days but not charged with a hate crime.
The principal wanted to expel the students, but the white superintendent of the school district overruled the principal. Black students protested and, racial tension grew.
It finally erupted in a series of fights. After the last one black students now referred to as the "Jena Six," were charged with the attempted second-degree murder of a white student.
Mychal Bell is one of the Jena Six students. An all white jury found him guilty.
Louisiana's 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Bell's aggravated second-degree battery conviction. The court said the 17 year old had been tried improperly as an adult.
The NAACP has estimated that as many as 60,000 may go to Jena this week in a show of support and concern for the black students.
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