Nadine Barrett, assistant professor of community and family medicine, took this photo Thursday evening of the Duke University flag lowered on campus. Barrett and others asked university officials to lower the flag for one day to honor George Floyd, the Minneapolis man killed last month by police. The killing prompted protests and demonstrations across the country.
The flags were lowered on the day that the NAACP encouraged a national moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee to Floyd’s neck. At Duke, more than 650 people from units across the university joined together virtually to participate in for the moment of silence.
Barrett said the lowering of the flag allowed she and many of her friends to act in a collective moment of silence in solidarity ”with Floyd and the many others who have lost their lives as part of institutional and systemic racism and violence against black people."
“People are sad, overwhelmed, hurting and exhausted. Some are struggling to find the right words, often stumbling in ways that have the potential to create more distance. There is a desire to correct contemporary and historical wrongs, and disrupt a system that was never designed to uplift Black people. There are so many emotions attached to where we are, but I believe we are at a pivotal moment of change. We have so much work to do, and I look forward to being a part of it,” Barrett wrote.
She concluded: “I took pictures of the Duke flag last night. It was beautiful and peaceful, and again, I reflected, meditated and remembered their names.”