Journalist of the Year Portfolio

From Charlottesville to Dallas

From Charlottesville to Dallas

When the "Unite the Right" protest began Aug. 11, 2017,  the country couldn't believe its eyes. Backlit by the hue of tiki torch flames, members of the β€œalt-right,” the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi movement marched through the University of Virginia campus around a statue of Robert E. Lee. After the protests and after the deaths of Heather Heyer and two Virginia state troopers, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, a harrowing fear hung over Charlottesville, the country and Dallas, Texas, like a thick, hazy fog. And in the weeks following the events, people across the nation struggled to figure out how to respond. In Dallas, a movement emerged to encourage the removal of Confederate monuments in the city resembling the ones disputed in Charlottesville.

On Sept. 6, 2017, I checked the news in between afternoon classes and discovered the City Council had near-unanimously voted for the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee in Oak Lawn park. Immediately, I grabbed my camera, notebook and phone recorder and made my way to the scene. When I arrived, dozens of people surrounded the statue to witness its removal. Two of whom were former African American Studies professor Clarence Glover and Dallas Citizens for Unity and Reconciliation Chair Jane Manning. The two were vehemently debating the statue's removal, and soon, I found myself joining in on the discussion.

 Snapshot of the infographic I created after witnessing the debate between Manning and Glover.

Snapshot of the infographic I created after witnessing the debate between Manning and Glover.

The raw footage

Camera in hand, I knew the scenes around the statue's removal would be interesting for our community to better understand the divisiveness of the Confederate statue debate. Below, you'll find the original, unedited videos I took while at the statue's removal. Warning: videos contain language that may offend.