Lawmakers protest Trump’s Williamsburg visit with event to mark ‘evolution of African Americans’

Updated: Jul. 30, 2019 at 11:24 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Several lawmakers held an event Tuesday to mark the “400-year evolution of African Americans” in the U.S.

Event marks '400-year evolution of African Americans'

Lawmakers who have chosen not to attend President Trump's speech in Williamsburg are holding their own event in Richmond to mark the “400-year evolution of African Americans” in the U.S. >> * Please note: This is a live feed that may have sudden camera movements. *

Posted by NBC12 on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"We dare not abandon this historic commemoration which represents the very essence of who we are and our invaluable contributions to the creation of this country. Our hearts are full of pride, because we know that out of the seemingly unsurmountable struggles we have endured, we have produced greatness,” said Delegate Delores McQuinn in a press release ahead of the event.

The event is a direct response to President Donald Trump’s visit to Williamsburg to mark the 400th anniversary of Jamestown.

The Associated Press reported that members of Virginia’s legislative black caucus placed a wreath honoring deceased black lawmakers as part of the boycott of Trump’s visit.

The wreath was placed below two plaques commemorating African American lawmakers who served in the Virginia House of Delegates between 1869 and 1890.

Among those in attendance at the event at Lumpkin’s Jail Site in Richmond, was Mayor Levar Stoney, who stepped down last week from the Jamestown event’s planning committee when an invite was extended to the president.

"We are in the right place, at the right time,” Stoney said. “This country was not only built on the backs of black slaves, but was built on freedom ... something our ancestors were not privy to.”

At the event, McQuinn said Trump’s tweet telling four congresswomen of color to go back to where they came from is personal.

“He wasn’t just talking to women on color, he was talking to every person of color in the United States. Make no mistake about it,” McQuinn said.

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