Martinsville leaders express concerns over quilt controversy - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Martinsville leaders express concerns over quilt controversy

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Martinsville Quilt Martinsville Quilt

Like the Piedmont Governor's school quilt, there are many perspectives on the controversy surrounding the school's presentation of the quilt to City Council in April. This was the student's explanation on the square Councilwoman Sharon Hodge says is offensive. 

"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". 

Since the meeting, the community has weighed in on both sides of the issue. Now city and community leaders are involved, but for a different reason. The Martinsville Henry County Clergy Coalition stands behind Councilwoman Hodge, and wants to see the square removed before it's put on display. But their message isn't about the quilt; it is what some folks in the community are saying. 

"Threats, racial slurs and resignation of Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge, we believe to be unfounded and unwarranted," says Charles Whitfield. 

They are concerned, just like Councilman Danny Turner, who has received some of the emails threatening Councilwoman Hodge. 

"Some are pretty bad and downright scary and disrespectful, and I don't like getting those and I am sure she is getting ones [that are] worse," says Turner. 

He supports the quilt and believes it was a misunderstanding, and feels the quilt should be displayed the way it is. But he agrees the threats are a concern. 

"Just like as she is able to express herself people are able to express themselves, and they need to be civil in their expression and some are crossing way over that line".