Political Racism Started A Riot In This Mostly Black City

pemberton penn tobacco storefront in danville virginia
Briona Lamback
November 6, 2022

In 1883, Black folks were running things in Danville, Virginia. They held public office, sold goods in open-air markets, and refused to give way to whites on the city’s sidewalks. Twenty years earlier, they could’ve never. 

What changed?

Our people had power. And whites in Danville were big mad about the shift, so they began spreading white supremacist LIES in a paper called the Danville Circular–just in time for the upcoming election.

One day, a white man tried it. He picked a petty street fight with two Black Danville men. The white man got knocked to the ground, and as their people often do, the instigator sought revenge. 

A crowd formed. The white attacker came back with more people and guns. Shots were fired. And when the smoke cleared, three Black men lay dead in the street. White militias spent the next few days “patrolling” the city’s streets and ultimately stole the election through intimidation! 

But this is nothing new.

They’ve always felt threatened by Black power. But it’s up to us to keep doing us and building our communities, despite white people’s desperate attempts to hold on to their dominance.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: