By Kevin Gray
What a difference a year makes! In 2017, Charlottesville, Virginia was in the news for a series of divisive rallies led by white supremacist and the KKK. This includes the iconic image of young white males with tiki torches marching through the campus of the University of Virginia. These marches brought violence to the city, but it also sparked major changes. One major change happened in 2018 as the city voted for their first black female mayor.
On Tuesday (Jan. 2), the city council voted 4-1 to make Nikuyah Walker Charlottesville’s first black female mayor, the Daily Progress reports.
Walker, who became the city's first independent city council member since 1948, is a Charlottesville native who joined the council in 2017.
“I have spent my entire adult life serving those most oppressed and neglected in this community,” Walker wrote on her city council campaign website. According to the site, Walker has dedicated hours to volunteering as an advocate for “social and racial justice” in Charlottesville.
While voting for a black female mayor doesn't mean that racial tension in the city is history, it is a clear step in the right direction. The vote is also being viewed as a clear rebuke of Donald Trump giving complimentary words for tiki-torch baring nazi’s, and downplaying the overall racial hatred that erupted in Charlottesville.