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Friends, community gather for vigil held for Oluwatoyin Salau

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 11:41 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Hundreds showed up Wednesday afternoon to pay tribute to Oluwatoyin Salau. The night was filled with song, prayer and spoken word, as strangers and friends filled the front lawn of the Florida Capitol.

Those closest to her took to the podium, speaking on her burdened past, her tragic loss of life, but most importantly, the legacy she will leave behind.

Her longtime friend, Chynna shared, “Everybody talk and talk, and nobody want to walk the walk. Well, Toyin walked the walk no matter what.”

Toyin’s cousin furthers, ”We should not forget her sacrifice, her triumph and her dream.”

Roughly 10-12 individuals took to the stand. Among the names, Al Lawson, Royce Lovett and student representatives with FSU and FAMU. Those that knew her personally were angered by her loss; they voiced that they wish more would have been done, for a black woman who gave her all, to fight for black lives.

One of Toyin’s friends shares, “She did not die because of her skin but she very well may have died because of it.”

Adrian Francis gave a spoken word speech, highlighting what role he and other black men can have in bettering the lives of others, ”I was at Toyin’s vigil and I heard her friends cry for over an hour. Where was your empathy you cowards? Where was your candles and your flowers? When we speak for them we have to speak louder, we have to speak up for our women.”

Through tears, those closest to her were left heartbroken over the loss of a light, that they felt privileged to know. Toyin’s cousin shares, “She was so ambitious, she was not afraid to use her voice and stand up for what was right.”

One of Toyin’s male friends states, “That woman was a survivor her whole life and she was out here fighting for everyone, fighting for everything that was right.”

The vigil was a night of embraces, and tributes, as hundreds of strangers gathered in unity. Chynna chanted, the name it was all for to a crowd of community, “Oluwatoyin Salau...Oluwatoyin Salau...”

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