BLM: PROF. JENNY VOTAVA
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Six days after George Floyd was murdered, my uncle (white, in his seventies, living in AZ) emailed me and my other far-from-“home” adult cousins this link to an article from the Grand Forks Herald about a protest-turned-riot in Fargo, ND. Fargo (where I grew up) is an hour drive south of Grand Forks (where my mom and her two siblings grew up), and about a three-and-a-half hour drive from now notorious Minneapolis, MN.
Like Minneapolis, Fargo boasts a high standard of living that conceals racial inequalities. My own last visit to ND was a year ago in July, when I brought my then four-year-old biracial daughters to meet their great-grandmother for the first and last time. She died in March, just days before COVID everything exploded.
Whether or not this protest was organized (as city officials claimed) by “outside agitators," it is part of what Fargo has always been—although it has not always recognized itself as such. It is also part of what “home” means, part of the history my girls are inheriting and the future they are so quickly and wonderfully and frighteningly growing into.
~~ Dr. Jennie Votava, Assistant Professor, English Department at Allegheny College
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