brittney lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Montay White chants “Stop the violence, Increase the peace” while walking down Martin Luther King Jr. Street with members of the community Saturday afternoon.
brittney lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Montay White chants “Stop the violence, Increase the peace” while walking down Martin Luther King Jr. Street with members of the community Saturday afternoon.

Residents march against violence

Published 12:05am Sunday, April 27, 2014

NATCHEZ — For Marquita Thornburg and her family, life has been different since Feb. 23.

That’s when her brother Terrence Thornburg, 20, was killed in his East Stiers Lane residence in what police have said was a robbery gone bad. Three men have been arrested in connection with the slaying, but that doesn’t necessarily ease the pain.

“I can’t explain it,” Marquita said, speaking of how the family has coped since her brother’s death. “I know things haven’t been the same.”

brittney lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat —  Members of the community walk down Jefferson Street Saturday afternoon. Approximately 40 people walked from Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church to Brick House for the “Stop the Violence, Increase the Peace Walk and Rally”.
brittney lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat —
Members of the community walk down Jefferson Street Saturday afternoon. Approximately 40 people walked from Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church to Brick House for the “Stop the Violence, Increase the Peace Walk and Rally”.

And that’s why Terrence Thornburg’s family showed up in force to march and chant, “Stop the violence, Increase the peace” as part of the Stop the Violence, Increase the Peace Walk and Rally.

“We wanted to let people know that the families don’t forget,” said Deanna Jones, Terrence Thornburg’s sister-in-law.

Sponsored by the National Action Network, the march started at Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and proceeded down Martin Luther King Jr. Street, ending at the Voter’s League building, formerly known as the Brick House, where speakers implored members of the community to seek peaceful resolutions to personal conflict.

March participant Hakeem Mustafa Elbey said the goal of the march was for the elders of the community to show young people they are serious about peace.

“Our youth are lost, and they need to see we can live in unity,” he said. “We want to get the message clear that we won’t tolerate black-on-black violence.”

Elbey said as his own children get older, violence in the community has become more of an issue of concern for him.

“We must tell the young people that they must be at peace with themselves, at peace with their neighbor and at peace with God,” he said. “Violence is not the way.”

Marcher Henry Davis Jr. walked with his children in tow, and likewise said he wanted the community to hear an alternative message of resolution rather than a cycle of conflict.

“We need to stop the nonsense of killing each other,” he said.

“People need to sit down and talk things out. I don’t think you should pick up guns to solve our differences.”