WJTV News Channel 12 - Martinsville divided on Governor's School quilt

Martinsville divided on Governor's School quilt

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MARTINSVILLE, VA -

This quilt is patchwork, sewn together by Piedmont Governor School students as a research project. But this one piece on the bottom left side, some say doesn't fit, and quite frankly say is offensive.

The governor's school gave the quilt to city council Tuesday night. This is what the student said during the presentation.   

"The small black person represents us before we learned all of the information about it, and the bigger gold person is how he feels after we have been enriched with all of the knowledge," says student.

After hearing that explanation, councilwoman Sharon Hodge immediately told them she was offended. Hodge explains her reaction. 

"Black is negative, black is representative of ignorance, and lack of knowledge and what people don't want to be, and we want to be enlightened and cross over and not be black and that is what offended me," says councilwoman Hodge. 

Governor's school instructor Nina Huff says "it symbolized our being in darkness about the value of the facility before our tour and glowing with new knowledge afterwards.  It was never viewed as anything but positive".

We found folks are divided on the issue. Naomi Hodge-Muse the president of the Martinsville Henry County NAACP, and relative of councilwoman Hodge says the chapter stands behind the complaint that it is offensive.  

"We are a diverse community and when you are presenting something to city council, it should be free of anything that would be harmful to someone else's feelings," says Hodge-Muse.

 However, Cody Eanes, a governor's school graduate, says  it was a misunderstanding. 

"The presentation may have been lack luster in words and could have been a little bit more specific but I do believe the actual picture is just of a stick figure," says Eanes. 

Still, the debate continues until council decides whether this quilt will be on display the way it was intended to; as a view of the city.

 

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