March organizer Frank Sensabaugh, also known as Frank Nitty (R), listens to others as they express their feelings on the 24-day march to Washington, D.C. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
March organizer Frank Sensabaugh, also known as Frank Nitty (R), listens to others as they express their feelings on the 24-day march to Washington, D.C. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
Marching almost 800 miles from Milwaukee, Wis., to Washington, D.C., for the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech on Aug. 28, a group of diverse people stopped in Warsaw Monday night/Tuesday on their journey.

Organizer Frank Sensabaugh, also known as Frank Nitty, said Warsaw was a “great stop.”

“This is our best stop so far. Valparaiso had a run for it because the sheriff marched with us through the whole city. That was amazing,” Nitty said.

He said there’s a Get Your Knee Off My Neck march for George Floyd by Al Sharpton in D.C. that many people are getting together for, but there’s also the commemoration of King’s speech.

Floyd died after then-officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against the handcuffed Black man’s neck for several minutes on May 25 as Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe.

“We walked all the way here from Milwaukee, Wis., on foot. It’s a long way. We’re on our way to D.C. and we should be there by the 28th,” Nitty said.

He said the reaction to them and the march has been mixed.

“Indiana has been really rough, but today has been a really supportive day. We really needed this today. We’ve battled a lot of racism, lot of bad words being called, lot of things said that had nothing to do with us. It’s just been ridiculous how we’ve been treated, so to see the outpouring of these people ... this is an amazing experience to see all these people come together,” Nitty said.

He never thought anything like this would ever happen in his life. When he decided to walk to D.C. he was at home and prayed about it.

“I never knew what was going to happen, I never thought we’d create change. I never thought people would even watch, I never thought people would pay attention,” Nitty said. “It’s a crazy experience. It’s the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life.”

As the group moves from city to city, he said they pick up people along the way.

“Everyone has clothes. Everyone has hotel rooms. Everyone has food. No one has to spend anything. People have been donating generously to the CashApp and just bringing items to just make sure we go,” Nitty said.

Tuesday was day eight of the 24-day march, having started Aug. 4.

“We’re going to make it. We’re going to get there and we have a lot of people rooting for us. It’s an amazing experience ... right now, it’s overwhelming. But everything that happened here – coming off such a negative time – that we had here has been such an amazing experience to have something so positive happen. Right now, right in the center of where we are,” Nitty said.

Sometimes a movement starts but then fades out, but protests since Floyd’s death over two months ago haven’t stopped in many cities.

Nitty said, “This movement won’t stop unless I die. Until I die. I’m going to do this until I die. This isn’t like one of those things where we march for 24 days or 28 days and it’s over. This is a revolution. I don’t know if people know what that looks like, I don’t know if people understand it. But this is the beginning of a revolution. This country is going to change. We’re not going to stop, we’re going to do what we need to do every single day to fight for change. We’re tired of everything that’s going on. And as we fight for change, we hope to accomplish equality and for people to treat Black people equally. It’s too long to be fighting over the same stuff. Our kids can’t be marching for what our grandparents marched for. It’s just ridiculous that at this point we’re still out here marching for the same thing that we were marching for 60 years ago. It’s ridiculous.”

He said Indiana showed the marchers a couple of things.

“It showed us that there is some change that can come, but it also showed us there’s a long way to go in this country,” he said.

For anyone who wants to follow or support Nitty, his Facebook name is Franknittyii and his CashApp is $itsfranknitty or $thewholemilwauke.

Finally, he said he wanted people to know, “We never went on this journey for things like, ‘Oh, we’re going to expose racism,’ ‘Oh, we’re going to show that there’s racism in Indiana and there’s racism in these towns’ we never thought we were coming through. But we’re not just trying to show negative things. We’re showing what’s going on.”

If something positive happens, he’ll highlight that. If something negative happens, he’ll discuss that, too.

“Some people are upset about the negative that has been shown about their city. And some people are like happy about the negative that’s been shown about their city. A lot of people like to hide the racism that exists in their little cities because we’re just passing through, and their town has been operating like this for the last however many years and there’s only a couple thousand people in these little bubbles and while they’re in these little bubbles, they can do whatever they want and no one can stop them because no one knows what’s going on, so a lot of people are upset because it’s been exposed. And they never wanted the racism that exists in these cities to be exposed. They wanted to live forever and to be how they are,” Nitty said.

He said some things in the country need to change. “We’re just here to see what we could do. I never knew this would be a journey to change different communities. I just thought we were going to walk. But God prepares you for things you don’t even know he’s preparing you for,” Nitty said.