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Local students show solidarity with Missouri protesters

Students at Boston College gathered during a solidarity demonstration on the school's campus on Thursday.Steven Senne/AP

Hundreds of students at Boston-area colleges joined those at other campuses nationwide in demonstrations Thursday to support black students at the University of Missouri, where recent student protests over racial discrimination have led to the resignation of top officials.

A large crowd of Boston College students and faculty clad in black gathered on the Chestnut Hill campus for an afternoon "blackout" to symbolize their solidarity with Missouri students.

The Twitter account "Eradicate BC Racism" posted photos of the students raising their fists in unison with the hashtags #BCBlackOut and #BCRacism.

At Emerson College, students and faculty showed solidarity at a demonstration at the college's Cultural Center.


Nathaniel Charles, 20, organized the event with friends from EBONI, Emerson's Black Organization with Natural Interests, where he is the secretary.

"We had a space with black paint where students could come and get three lines painted on their cheeks representative of the Mizzou Tigers, showing our support for their ferocity," said Charles, who is a junior from Malden studying writing in film and TV.

Charles said about 50 people attended. Those who couldn't make it used Sharpie markers and eyeliner to draw the lines on their faces, posting photos to social media.

"I think that there is work to be done anywhere," he said, of improving racial sensitivity.

Similar demonstrations have been held this week at colleges across the Northeast, including Yale University, Smith College, and Ithaca College. On Thursday, students at Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond; Loyola University in Chicago; and campuses at the University of California held rallies.

Boston University students have planned a demonstration at 3 p.m. Friday at Marsh Plaza, on the campus. By Thursday evening, nearly 800 students said on the event Facebook page that they would attend and 1,000 more said they were interested in going.

Some students said Thursday they face daily instances of casual racism and insensitivity, subtle slights called microaggressions.


''It's more the daily microaggressions than the large situations,'' said Akosua Opokua-Achampong, a sophomore at Boston College. ''Those also hurt.''

Material from the Associated Press was included in this report. Sarah Roberts can be reached at sarah.roberts@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @heysarahroberts