White Woman Wants To Apologize To African Americans - Takes Up An Unusual Hobby

One Chicago woman racked with white guilt felt that she had to do something to start making amends to the African-American community. She came up with the idea of walking 20 miles per day through black neighborhoods with a sign apologizing.

She says she's sorry about 'everything'.

Laurella Willis walks the streets of Chicago's South Side with a home-made sandwich board sign over herself. the sign reads, "Black America I'm Sorry!!"

Willis is sorry about racism. She's sorry about the violence against people of color particularly of black people at the hands of law enforcement. She's sorry about the racial tensions, the profiling, discrimination and white privilege. She wants to spread the message about how she feels, and she's walking some 20 miles per day to get it out there.

Many are touched by Willis' efforts. "No one put her up to this and she woke up and decided White America there’s a problem and we need to do something about it,” said Radio host Mark Wallace, a black man, who saw Willis on her mission. He believes her heart is in the right place.

"It’s very touching," one person who saw Wills told CBS. "Especially someone who’s not colored."

"I don't want to continue to see Black America being oppressed, and held down and killed like animals," said the white woman to CBS Chicago.

Others are just not that impressed with poster board, markers, long walks and apologies. They say that people who feel like Willis need to do something more productive.

"I commend her for her courage to do that," noted one resident, "but we need more."

Willis is hoping to take action, she's just not sure at this point what kind of action to take.

Some confusion arose when Wills began describing herself as black on her Facebook page, according to Takimag, despite her being satisfied with reporters saying she was white.

"“WE”, meaning the black race won’t come together to support each other so HOW we gonna have change anywhere else? THAT is trick of the enemy! The devil DOES NOT want u to REALLY unite & STAY united!! Long as Black on black crime continues THE DEVIL has won bcuz your focus has been shifted from the TRUE issue! EQUALITY!!!" she wrote.

The account was closed down and the post is no longer available.


Willis isn't exactly the most eloquent white woman apologizing to people of color, Takimag says.

Pastor Savannah Martin of Tampa wrote the poem, "I wasn’t born rich, but don’t get it twisted /See how I look, my white skin is my privilege. /I don’t get watched when I go to the mall. /If I get stopped for a ticket, it doesn’t end in a brawl /I don’t know anyone murdered for selling cigs or CDs /I’ve never been choked out or shot at by corrupt men in PDs."

Words and feelings are certainly important, but only action is going to solve today’s problems in the world.

Source: CBS Chicago
Photo: CBS Chicago

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