“This is not Charlottesville” was the refrain that I heard many times. Our neighbors sought to assure us of this. We had moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, just days after white supremacists’ Unite the Right Rallies shattered the town’s charm. As blatant outside emissaries of racial hatred, they were vehemently opposed by people of faith and of goodwill.

On the other hand, I recall a ride with an African American taxi driver who grew up in Charlottesville. He recalled, without venom or vengeance, countless episodes of racism. The cruelty he suffered and the consequent disparities of life are part of growing up black in Charlottesville.

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Walter Kim
Walter Kim has been president of the National Association of Evangelicals since January 2020. He also serves as pastor for leadership at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, after ministering for 15 years at Boston’s historic Park Street Church. Kim received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, his M.Div. from Regent College in Vancouver, and his B.A. from Northwestern University. He regularly speaks at college campuses, churches, retreats and symposia, particularly in the areas of biblical theology and cultural issues.