By Nathan Ham
UNC-Charlotte alumnus Toussaint C. Romain has been all around the country, in courtrooms, board rooms, and similar protests like the one that took place in Boone on Sunday afternoon. Seeking justice has been Romain’s passion as an assistant public defender for the past 10 years.
Romain is currently the Deputy General Counsel for Appalachian State University and was one of the voices of justice on the courthouse steps in downtown Boone.
“Even though we are faced with the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have his dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream,” Romain said referring to the famous speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “Are we really living his dream or are we still living his nightmare.
The Boone event, organized by fellow UNC-Charlotte alumnus and Boone resident Raheim Andrews, brought nearly 1,000 people including students, family members, and residents to peacefully protest against racial injustice and inequality. Romain said that Andrews’ passion for the event led him to Boone to speak when he had no plans of attending at first.
“Because of Raheim, because of these police officers, because of you, I still have hope,” Romain said to the crowd. “I still have faith and that’s the very hope that Dr. King was speaking about. With this faith, we will be able to change the discord of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”
Boone Police Department Interim Chief Andy LeBeau spoke to the crowd and was praised by Toussaint Romain for reaching out to him prior to this protest to discuss what they as a department could do better.
“Let this be the last march we have to have for this, let this be the last time we have to take a knee, let this be the last police execution of an American citizen or anybody else,” Romain said closing out his speech to lots of cheers and applause.