A Kennesaw State student’s Black Lives Matter flag has been torn down multiple times at the Blake in late September.
Tyler Lovelace, sophomore music performance and music education major hung a Black Lives Matter flag on his porch at the Blake but noticed it was gone days later. He assumed the flag had just fallen at first so he purchased a new one.
He nailed the new flag to his porch with six nails. The next day the flag was gone and most of the nails had been pulled out. Lovelace reported the incident to the Blake office, but management was unable to take action. After Lovelace talked with management, he posted about his flag on Instagram.
“I got a call from the office saying that someone had turned it in,” Lovelace said. “They said they found it in the bushes.”
Lovelace retrieved the flag and used screws to securely attach it to his porch. The flag disappeared two nights later. Lovelace checked the trash and found it placed on the top of the pile in the back.
“Somebody had to have gotten in the trashcan to get it back there,” Lovelace said. “So I did the same thing and I got in there, I got my flag out, and then I put it back up.”
Lovelace purchased another flag and hung it on the porch. He put the flag he retrieved from the bushes in his window. As of Sept. 24, both flags remain in place.
Lovelace says his lease at the Blake does not prohibit flags and one of his neighbors has an American flag that has not been taken down. If the problem persists, Lovelace plans on investing in a small security camera to catch the culprit.
While KSU has not made any statements about specific incidents, University President Pamela Whitten issued a statement about the Black Lives Matter movement online in May of 2020.
“Kennesaw State University is unequivocal in the belief that there is no room for the existence of or the tolerance for any form of racism,” said Assistant Vice President of Communications Tammy DeMel. “The university is deeply committed to constructive dialogue and proactive initiatives with a goal toward real change.”
Additionally, KSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, led by Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler, administers a number of ongoing and new programs to address the challenges and opportunities of diversity on our campuses, said DeMel.
Carey-Butler is also chairing the President’s Task Force on Race, which was launched in the summer and has been charged with working with stakeholders across both campuses to enable change for KSU communities.
The Task Force has been collecting data through multiple listening sessions with students, faculty and staff, said DeMel. A report on the task force’s findings is due in January.