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Myron B. Pitts: Community Advisory Board will bring different voices

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We folks at The Fayetteville Observer website and newspaper do not have all the answers. Though I know it may seem like we believe otherwise sometimes.

But far from it. We need you to not only read but to be a part of telling this community’s complex, vivid and wildly diverse story.

That is one of several reasons the Observer’s Opinion section began the Community Advisory Board — to draw different perspectives from people with different experiences and different opinions.

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In Fayetteville, George Floyd killing divides black elected officials and protesters of color

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The black city council members had just left a recentmeeting when they were met in the parking lot by younger activists of color with a piercing question.

Why did the council — which is newly dominated by black members — refuse a request to write “Black Lives Matter” in yellow paint near the historic Market House, where slaves were once sold? Why did they vote to write “Black lives do matter”?

“What’s the ‘do’ for?” a young black woman asked.

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Community activists: Fayetteville mayor must adopt police reforms

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An Open Letter to City of Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin June 17, 2020:

We have joined together in writing this letter because we could not remain silent while the leaders of our community have yet to announce any police reforms. There are actions that can be implemented now that would reduce the likelihood of violence by police officers in the future.

The frustration and anger that we are feeling is from our own personal experiences and the constant struggle of wanting our voices to be heard. We must change and reform police policy in Fayetteville to ensure that the city we live in currently is better for our children. While we acknowledge the progress that has been made in recent years, there is much more that can be done.

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A year after George Floyd’s death, what changed?

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The image of Derek  Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck has circulated around the globe for the past year. We have all heard him mutter the words “I can’t breathe” on the asphalt of a Minneapolis street because strangers used their phones to record what was being done.

The gruesome video of how he died shaped protests across North Carolina. In Fayetteville, it lit a literal fire on the Market House — a building known as the focal point of the city where goods were sold, and at one point, slaves were auctioned.

Conflict around the national historical landmark dates back to the Civil War — when troops were marching on the same stretch of road where activists now gather almost 200 years later.  Floyd’s death didn’t bring the mixed history of the market house to light all of a sudden. According to one activist living in the community, Mario Benavente, it metaphorically shattered something already broken for people who were already mad.

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Fayetteville Millennial movement could shape future of All-American City

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) — Fayetteville is looking for the fountain of youth. City leaders are developing a plan to attract millennials to the community.

Mario Benavente, a 29-year-old Fayetteville native who attended UNC-Chapel Hill, moved back to the area after graduation. “Here we have an opportunity to come up with the city. You’re getting in on the ground floor. No, we’re not as big as Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, but you have a hand in making us the next big city,” said Benavente.

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