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Close to home: The men and women of Emancipation Park speak out
C-VILLE Weekly Friday, September 22, 2017 at 8 a.m.
In the center of Charlottesville is a park. A park that, lately, has seen its fair share of blood and spit, pepper spray and violence, tears and prayers. It sits in the city’s northeast quadrant and takes up a square block, sandwiched between First and Second streets to the west and east, Jefferson Street to the north and Market Street to the south. For nearly 93 years it was known as Lee Park. But for the last three months, officially at least, it’s been called Emancipation Park.
 
In its center is a towering statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which the city earlier this year voted to remove. That decision was legally challenged and is currently being decided by a judge. For many in the city, this is what the park is: home to a statue that’s caused Charlottesville’s divisions to become more visible.
 
But for several dozen people, the park is also a home. ...

Over the past two months, C-VILLE Weekly reporter Jordy Yager and photographer Lorenzo Dickerson have gotten to know nearly two dozen of these park residents. The following is an attempt to add their voices to the city’s larger conversation about statues, public spaces and equity. 

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