Black Voices on Turmoil: ‘The World We Live In’

In Racism, Violence and Hate On

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Eric Brown had already seen the footage of the torches, the fire, the fights. The wreckage of Charlottesville days before was still fresh in his memory when he turned on his television on Tuesday to hear the words of President Trump.

He listened intensely as the president appeared to equate white nationalist hate groups with those who protested them. First, he allowed himself to feel the hurt. And then he prayed.

“His words were bone-crushing,” Mr. Brown, 51, the minister of Greater Mount Pleasant A.M.E. Church here, said, almost 24 hours after an erratic news conference in which the president addressed the protests for a third time. “I could not help but think of the struggles of my parents and my grandparents.”

Across the country, Americans are discussing and debating the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville and the comments by the president. But for African-Americans in particular, what happened in the small Virginia city served to spotlight a racial fault line that, for all the talk of progress and diversity, many say has never gone away, according to dozens of interviews.

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