This Riot Started Because Of Black Political Power

Pemberton Penn Tobacco Danville Virginia
Briona Lamback
November 3, 2021

 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! So what changed?

Our people got 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. Racist tension in Danville started boiling over.

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 whites often do, he 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 continued attempts to hold on to their dominance!

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