By Stephanie Younger •
On August 11-12, Klansmen, and Neo-Nazis attended the Unite the Right Rally, a demonstration against the removal of the Confederate monument. They attacked anti-racist counter-protestors, many comprised of anti-fascist, and Black Lives Matter activists. According to Al-Jazeera, the white supremacists’ violence left 35 people injured; and a white supremacist rammed his car into multiple protestors.
Today’s Richmond Stands United For Racial Justice Rally, organized by the Richmond Peace Education Center, and the Virginia Interfaith Center For Public Policy, calls for the removal of shrines to white supremacy from the streets of Richmond. Hundreds marched from the Maggie Walker Plaza to Monument Avenue chanting, “Hey, hey! Ho, Ho! Racism has got to go!” singing and beating drums; unified.
On the Maggie Lena Walker Plaza was a sign that read, #MonumentsShouldBe, spotlighting Black freedom fighters, including Angela Davis, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Bayard Rustin. Attending this march was significant, in the sense that Charlottesville is a place I once called home, and that I haven’t heard of these freedom fighters until last year, since the schools I attended in Henrico County, Virginia did not teach me about Black freedom fighters. The thing that I reflected on the most over the past month was how significant intersectionality is; It keeps us safe. It’s imperative to show up for Black women by speaking up against misogynoir when and wherever we see it, in our lives, and dismantling it in the media, and that Black queer lives, Black trans lives are at the center of our activism.
Stephanie Younger is a 15-year-old Black student, aspiring computer programmer, poet, writer based in Central Virginia.