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‘I’ll walk 400 miles if you promise to VOTE!': Kentucky man hits the pavement to fill the polls

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:11 PM EDT
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PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - As the November election nears, Devine Carama is stepping up to ask Kentuckians to get involved.

The Versailles man made his way to Pikeville Tuesday where he ditched his car and headed off on a mission to walk 400 miles. By Wednesday afternoon, he reached Salyersville, proudly holding a sign reading “I’ll walk 400 miles if you promise to VOTE! Deal?”

“It was just a no-brainer. I didn’t know what I was gonna do," said Carama. "But once I prayed about it and thought about it I said, 'You know what? My ancestors sacrificed so much for me to have the right to vote today. What can I do and sacrifice?”

He said while the 400 miles is the distance he intends to march, it is also representative of the more than 400 years black men and women have suffered inequalities in the U.S.

“I can look at that sign and I can dig deep,” he said.

He said the trek is not about a specific political party, but about the people who were given the right and responsibility to make it to the polls in November.

“Some of the challenges that people are having in the hollers of Eastern Kentucky, they’re having in the hood in Lexington, Kentucky," he said. “I think with everything going on this year— global pandemic, the social unrest— I feel this is one of the few parts of the process where we the people can speak for what it is we want.”

According to Carama, the journey has already been rough as he battles the elements, but he has learned a great deal traveling through the first few counties. He said it has been great to have conversations with people and hear their opinions, even if those opinions do not match his own.

“I think that’s what we need more of in this world. People who might not look the same or think alike, but can still sit down and have a conversation," he said. “I think that’s how you heal divides. I think that’s how you tear down walls and bridge the gap.”

With his sites set on Paducah as a finish line, he marched toward Salyersville Wednesday. He said he hopes the efforts will be enough to inspire just one person that the actions they take- especially at the polls- are worthwhile.

“It’s a little crazy. But sometimes you’ve gotta engage in personal sacrifice in order to bring attention to a cause that you believe in,” Carama said.

Copyright 2020 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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