RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Maggie L. Walker historic gravesite has been spray-painted at Evergreen Cemetery.
The numbers, “777″, was spray-painted in green ink in several places on Walker’s grave, which is a family burial site.
The symbol has been said to have several meanings. It has been linked to spirituality, called the ‘angel number,” but it has also been linked to a hate group, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
A symbol called a Triskele, made up of ‘three sevens’ has been said to be used by use by the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), a South African white supremacist group that formed in the 1970s.
“The AWB used a flag similar to the Nazi flag but which replaced the swastika with a triskele that resembled three interlocking sevens,” the ADL explained. “Because of the AWB usage, it is this “three sevens” version of the triskele that is most commonly associated with white supremacy. It is a common type of white supremacist tattoo.”
Maggie L. Walker’s great-great granddaughter and great-grandson visited the site Monday morning and said they are frustrated that someone would disrupt this space.
‘We think of it as this holy sight,” explained great-great granddaughter Liza Mickens. “And for somebody to come here without those intentions of peace and appreciating the history before, it is definitely frustration not so much anger but more of a call to action, and more of a recognition of other people to come out and volunteer here or learn the stories that are here at Evergreen.”
The Enrichmond Foundation has continued to work to restore both Evergreen and East End Cemeteries, which are both historic African-American cemeteries. The organization contaced the the Richmond Police Department when the vandalism was discovered Monday. RPD confirms they are investigating.
“I understand the climate we are in and I understand a lot of monuments have been publicly vandalized, for the most part those people were on the wrong side of history,” said Mickens. “So to come here and disrupt someone who did so much for the Richmond community, it is very disheartening.”
Maggie L. Walker’s grave site was not the only burial site discovered to have been tagged with ’777’ on Monday. Just a few miles away, the same vandalism was found at Sir Moses Montefiore Cemetery, a burial site founded in in 1886 by orthodox Jewish immigrants in Richmond.
Several tombstones at the The Barton Heights Cemeteries, another historic African American burial site in the city’s northside.
The Enrichmond Foundation says they plan to work to clean Evergreen and East End Cemeteries as long as the weather allows.
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