Local News

A message for protesters: Wilson businesses hang signs on windows

Black-owned businesses in Raleigh said they were attacked by violent looters. One woman said she was shocked, saying, "I never thought I'd have to stand in front of someone's black-owned business and tell black people not to mess with it. It was sad."

Posted Updated

Bryan Mims
, WRAL reporter
WILSON, N.C. — Weekend demonstrations played out in cities and towns across our area, including Wilson.

In response, Wilson has imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.

The curfew comes after protests escalated last night, causing damage to several businesses downtown.

But in the aftermath, locals are cleaning up -- and they have a message.

While boarded-up storefronts and broken-out windows are usually signs of stagnancy, the signs on the glass have a special message for protesters: "We Hear You."

That's the message at Dance Studio B.

Trish Bradshaw owns the studio, and she welcomed the peaceful protest against police brutality--until the scary levels of violence and vandalism in her community.

"It was just scary to see so much vandalism," said Bradshaw.

She said she's all about promoting fairness and togetherness, but sends the message, "Remember the cause. It shouldn't be about destroying what others have built."

Destroying black-owned businesses: Protesters have their own business attacked

Protesters marched in downtown Sunday evening, carrying signs saying "Justice 4 Floyd."

Among those protesting was Meshia Lynch.

"Out of the blue, you just started hearing glass shatter," she said.

Her fiancée owns Levels Barber Lounge.

Once the vandalism began, she and her fiance focused their attention on protecting the shop--and succeeded.

"People were throwing stuff to the windows of black-owned businesses," she said. "I just felt like it wasn't fair, you know. We were doing this to our own people."

"I never thought I'd have to stand in front of someone's black-owned business and tell black people not to mess with it. It was sad," she said.

Hanging signs on windows for protesters

Several downtown businesses had their windows busted.

Broomsticks in hand, Jim Daniels walked the streets with his wife and daughter, helping clean up.

The signs are up: "Community-owned Business -- DO NOT LOOT."

And these: "Wilson Strong."

"This Too Shall Pass."

Take it from the iconic whirligigs in this downtown that has worked so hard to grow and develop: Things will turn around.


Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.