Different generations speak about current push for change in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As "Black Lives Matter" supporters and other groups participate in protests this week, different generations of civil rights advocates spoke with WREG about the movement.

"I think that our generation has taken the reins and said, you know what, I think we've got to take initiative," said Minister Devante Hill.

At age 24, he helped organize Sunday's massive peaceful protest downtown. He is now heading up the movement One Memphis One Vision, advocating for social justice.

It is clear many of this week's protestors are from Hill's generation.

"First, I want to commend these young people, and their adults today as well, for taking a stand," said Southern Christian Leadership Conference Chapter President Pastor Dwight Montgomery.

He said these groups have legitimate complaints.

Nonetheless, he believes they could learn from suggestions of older civil rights leaders in Memphis who helped pave the way.

"Those leaders got together, so that there would be a systematic way of dealing with those issues. That is the only concern I have now in relationship to this movement. Although their focus is right, I don't know who their actual leader is," Montgomery said.

That is a point Reverend Bill Adkins with Greater Imani Cathedral of Faith agreed with Tuesday on the news at 6.

"It's very difficult, first of all, to understand exactly the structure, if there is any structure, in the movement, and that's the basic problem," he said.

Hill does not believe current groups are separated, but he said they are grateful for guidance.

"Our prayer as a younger generation is that they will just take us under their wing when they find us, as young leaders, with the heart to do the right thing. At the end of the day, they will just mold us and lead us in the right direction," Hill said.

Montgomery told WREG he is hosting a prayer meeting at Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church Sunday at 5 p.m. to promote unity. He said many area pastors will attend.

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