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Black Lives Matter protests sweep across white small-town America

Before sundown on Thursday around 150 protesters marched down the main street in Anna, Illinois, past Bob’s Tavern, Oasis of Grace Church, Douglas Skating Rink and Casey’s General Store holding homemade signs and chanting “black lives matter.”

Nearly a century ago this southern Illinois town of 4,200 residents expelled most of its African-American residents, according to historians.

The rally was held in solidarity with others protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis with a white policeman’s knee on his neck. Some residents said they were marching as a way to try to move beyond their own community’s past.

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