The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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August 11 and 12th mark the second anniversary of the Charlottesville riot.

Prior to the riots, the Virginia town was known for it’s college, UVA, but that all changed when white supremacists flocked there with torches to protest the taking down of Confederate statues and to wreak havoc on counter-protesters.

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This was a particularly dark moment in American history that lead to the tragic murder of Heather Heyer, sparked numerous attacks on people of color and caused the President to publicly state that there are some very fine Neo-Nazis.

However, some change did come out of Charlottesville. In November of 2017, the city elected its first Black woman mayor Nikuyah Walker. At the year one-year anniversary, Walker, 38, told The Guardian, “One of the main things that I’m here to do is to call attention to the liberal progressive Democratic structure that’s in place, that believes that their best intentions are enough. You need actions behind those intentions. You can’t just use words.”

She continued: “I’m attempting to make sure – and it’s painful – that people who work for the city, people who receive money from the city, understand that if they’re not moving the needle, making progress, changing lives, if they don’t truly understand service, they will not be in a position to receive resources, or I will criticize you publicly.”

Like many African-Americans, Walker has publicly acknowledged a painful truth: A “post-racial” society is a myth in America. The deep-reaching, indelible wounds of racism were still bleeding, especially considering the hateful white supremacist rally that shrouded Charlottesville in darkness two summers ago.

Walker, a mother of three, said she couldn’t stand by and watch the erupted horror in her home city. She ran for the mayoral role on the promise of “Unmasking the Illusion,” a reference to helping Charlottesville to see that racism was still alive and well in order to attack and defeat it. Walker wasn’t particularly worried about people’s comfort, but rather their change in moving forward with her mission.

“Here it’s that polite, you know, civil political scene,” Walker said. “I tell people all the time: ‘In very polite, civil discussions around boardroom tables, eating Baggby’s sandwiches, you have put policies in place that have ruined generations of native families in this area.’ So I don’t really care about your request for civility, because even though you are not loud, you are not yelling, you still impacted people’s lives in a way that affected three or four generations at a time.”

Folks took to Twitter to reflect on the year anniversary, the current state of America and Trump’s inability to stand up against hate.

Never Forget: Twitter Sounds Off On The Anniversary Of The Charlottesville Riot  was originally published on