The Battle for Brown Grove

Why African American residents-turned-activists are trying to block a supermarket chain from building a warehouse in rural Virginia.

The early December skies were foreboding as the protesters shivered in the chill outside a Wegmans grocery store. Still, they marched and held their signs high: “Wetlands over Wegmans,” “Not in my backyard,” “#Save Brown Grove!!!”

Among them were my cousins Renada Harris, 40, and Bonnica Cotman, 50. I’ve known them all my life, and I had never imagined them as activists, yet here the two sisters were, among the leaders of the group. In the past few months, I’d watched them go all-in trying to save our childhood home, Brown Grove, a historically Black community in Hanover County, Va., about 17 miles north of downtown Richmond. Brown Grove is facing, as they see it, the biggest existential threat of its 150-year history: the construction of a 1.1 million-square-foot, $175 million Wegmans distribution center. Read more at The Washington Post magazine.

Categories: Freelance Articles

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