Justin Blackman was just a normal teen at Wilson Preparatory Academy in Wilson, North Carolina, exercising his right to protest, when he left Spanish class to participate in National School Walkout Day, on Wednesday, March 14.
Justin Blackman (Courtesy Photo)
Now, Blackman is being lauded as a young, strong activist.
To his surprise, Blackman was the sole student out of about 700 at his school to walkout, even after he discussed the national protest with his peers earlier in the day.
Shocked, Blackman took to Twitter to express his dismay, even though he thought few people would see his video.
“Hello Twitter, there’s going to be like six people watching this, hopefully,” the 16-year-old said.
He was wrong. The video of Blackman alone outside has now gone viral.
“It’s National Walkout Day and I’m the only one at my school out here,” he said. “No one really said anything, besides my own teacher.”
Nonetheless, Blackman said something. Blackman did something. At 16, he was the sole person to stand up and walk out.
He stayed there for 17 minutes honoring the number of lives lost last month in Parkland, Fla., when a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student killed 17 students and educators, and injured others. After the 17 minutes were up he went back inside hoping he was not in trouble.
Instead of punishment, Blackman received congratulations.
His singular activism taught him a valuable lesson.
“Now, I truly know that one person is all it takes,” Justin told CNN. “No matter the age, skin color, gender- it doesn’t matter.”