WJTV News Channel 12 - Martinsville Councilwoman posts apology over quilt comment

Martinsville Councilwoman posts apology over quilt comment

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MARTINSVILLE, VA -

Martinsville City Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge hopes to calm the furor that's erupted in the past week, over a quilt made by Governor's School students, and her response to the students' explanation of one square on the quilt.

During the April 23rd Martinsville City Council meeting, a Governor's School student described the square in question like this:

"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."

Councilwoman Hodge took offense, saying "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."

In the days that followed, Hodge received a mix of support and criticism, including threats, racial slurs, and calls for her resignation according to local pastors.

On Friday, Councilwoman Hodge posted this statement on the Martinsville City Facebook page:

"In the days since the April 23 City Council meeting, many in the community have been upset with my criticism of a quilt donated to the City by students of the Piedmont Governor's School. Although I stand behind the observation that I made, I sincerely regret the contentiousness that has resulted. I do agree with the community consensus that my remarks to students were not delivered in the most ideal manner. It was never my intent to make the students cry, nor to upset those who watched the Council meeting on the government channel.

I ask the students and community to accept my apology. It is my hope that the community can move forward."

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