Photo courtesy of Richmond Grid

Photo courtesy of Teresa Younger

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, killing Heather Heyer.

Today’s Richmond Stands United For Racial Justice Rally calls for the removal of shrines to Confederacy from the streets of Richmond. was organized by Jelani Drew of the Richmond Peace Education Center, in partnership with the Virginia Interfaith Center For Public Policy. Today, hundreds in attended the “Richmond Stands United For Racial Justice Rally.” We 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. As a young Black person, I have never even 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. It was significant for me to attend this march as a Black youth who has also spent their early childhood in Charlottesville, and a place that I called home.

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.

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