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'You will not break my spirit': UK supporters gather in solidarity with Black student attacked in viral video

Kylah Spring
Josh James
/
WUKY
UK freshmen Kylah Spring addresses supporters at march on November 7, 2022.

A racial-slur-laden assault on a UK student prompted a large campus protest Monday night.

UK students formed a far-reaching line winding down Rose Street to the wildcat statue across from Memorial Coliseum, with chants of "No justice, no peace," "Black Lives Matter," and "Protect Black Women."

The march came in the wake of an attack, overflowing with hundreds of racial slurs, directed at UK student Kylah Spring, a freshmen on duty as a desk clerk at the time of the assault. Video of the incident sparked outrage far beyond the edge of campus as it went viral.

Monday night, Spring addressed her classmates who formed a circle around her near the Avenue of Champions.

"I was physically, verbally, and racially assaulted."
Kylah Spring, UK student

Calling the incident a recurring issue in American schools, Spring thanked those who have reached out, saying social media has allowed her story to be heard — a story she told her supporters is "our story."

As for her alleged attacker, Sophia Rosing, Spring expressed hope that she would "open her heart to love" and at one point spoke directly to her.

"And to Ms. Rosing, you will not break my spirit."
Kylah Spring, UK student

The video, now the subject of national attention, shows Rosing – appearing inebriated – as she attacks Spring, who was working as a desk clerk in Boyd Hall.

LEX18 spoke with Treasure Huston, a friend of the individual who filmed the incident.

"When she showed us the video, It was heartbreaking," Huston said. "It hit me to the core."

Rosing, who is white, is heard shouting the n-word more than 200 times at Spring as she tries to push a shopping cart into her.

Rosing was arrested early Sunday. The arrest citation says she kicked and bit police during the arrest and told officers she “has lots of money and gets special treatment.”

UK President Eli Capilouto commended the professionalism and restraint Spring showed and described the incident as “deeply antithetical to what we are,” promising a full investigation.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.