An African American woman with her fist in the air looks a white man giving a Nazi salute

What happened in Durham

Like many people, a week ago I was feeling pretty down about the state of racial justice and just basic humanity in the United States. But then something happened.

In response to the hate and violence displayed in Charlottesville, hundreds of Durhamites came together for a huge vigil on Sunday night. Many friends of mine posted pictures and powerful testimonials to the collective love they felt gathered together.

But I also noticed that some activists had less satisfied responses, including frustration that the mostly-white event marginalized voices of color and those with more radical tactics. Much of that frustration fed into the Monday demonstration, which had already been planned to take place in front of Durham’s old courthouse, where there was a confederate monument with an inscription to “the boys who wore gray.”

Many times I have passed that statue and wondered what on earth it was doing there. Until last year, I really didn’t realize how pervasive these were and what drove their creation.

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Go, Durm!

I’m incredibly proud to be a Durhamite. Most recently because of this powerful Letter to the People of the City of Durham from the Durham City Council. The Durham City Council (1) condemns all hateful speech and violent action directed at Muslims, those perceived to be Muslims, immigrants and people of color; (2) categorically rejects any …

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Defiance

This weekend I attended a wonderful gathering of people who are not OK with letting ignorance and hate infect our community and our state. Before Durham in Defiance, some people complained that we should be demonstrating in the streets rather than standing around talking. We have been in the streets for many years, and we will turn out again (and again, and again). But what made this event really important was that it was organized for the long haul.

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