Black professionals cheer on city students starting school

In this Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 photo, black professional men from the community greet students arriving for the first day of school at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Hartford, Conn. Similar welcome ceremonies have been staged for students from minority communities in cities around the country including Atlanta, Boston and Seattle. (AP Photo/Michael Melia)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Dozens of black professional men are greeting students in one Connecticut school district, cheering them on as they begin their new school year.

Hartford businessmen, policemen and others answered a call to show up in their work clothes or uniforms on Tuesday at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Hartford.

They lined up to give students high-fives as they made their way into the building.

Organizers say the welcome ceremonies began last year as a way to counter stereotypes of black men, and do something positive at a time of heightened tensions over police shootings of black men.

Welcome ceremonies also are planned this week at other schools in the city’s poor, largely black neighborhoods.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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