Eric Sheppard Jr.

Eric Sheppard Jr. (EJ), FUGITIVUS, is a 21-year old black nationalist revolutionary political prisoner who rose to infamy through his controversial protests. The protests took place at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA (the same city where Kendrick Johnson was murdered) consisting of flag stepping and bible burning demonstrations. Several viral videos surfaced showcasing bits and pieces of what reportedly had been going on for some days prior but were largely “ignored.”

Sheppard’s protests continue to raise social consciousness having spawned the Eric Sheppard Challenge and several hashtag campaigns such as #NotMyFlag. Not without white backlash, however. Michelle Manhart was arrested for stealing a flag from student protesters and refusing to return it. She is being heralded a hero. On April 24th, a flag rally was held at the campus in support of white supremacy and it’s pervasiveness throughout the globe. Many conservative whites have returned the gesture by proudly and pretentiously boasting their “Jingoistic Amerikkkan Nationalism.” The Ku Klux Klan even put a 50K bounty on his head. White people seemed to have no problem with this vigilante effort.

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Sheppard resonates with me so much because we are almost identical. Moreso simply because of the close proximity where these protests occurred. I live about 2 hours away from Valdosta in Albany. It was inspiring to see this type of action being taken in Southwest GA which is known for inaction and poor results. Of similar stature and exact ideology; the revolutionary fervor and precise articulation in deconstructing white supremacy so eloquently and unapologetically. He stood undaunted before the faces of whites. 

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Consequently, his advocacy lead to the campus authorities supposedly finding a firearm in a backpack that belonged to him. His words considered terroristic. Him stepping on flags – treasonous. Desecrating flags is worthy of the death penalty according to proud white patriots. This pretext initiated a manhunt that lasted roughly a month. 8 days before his subsequent capture, he released a 21 second long video from a vehicle in which he informed the public that he would be releasing a Memorandum Ultimatum to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Sheppard was detained by U.S. Marshals in Tampa, FL on May, 28th. Surprisingly, he was not murdered. A volley of bullets didn’t tear him asunder. No phantom negro weapons secured at the scene. No bruises. No sign of any bodily injuries. No “struggle” ensued. Was not gang related. Who would have thought? It is yet to be known if a Mobutu turned him in, however.

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Despite his capture, he has garnered quite a large social media following. An initiative page and an IndieGoGo campaign have been made in support of his defense and release.

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