As the grandchild of a civil rights activist, Porsha Williams recently revealed that her first experiences with racism happened at the tender age of 6 years old.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta said on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live earlier this week that she and her grandfather, Hosea Williams, were chased by members of the Ku Klux Klan at a Georgia protest.
“I was about 6 years old when I went to my first march,” Williams said. “I was excited to go. You know, as a little kid, you finally get to go to work with your granddad.”
Not long after arriving, Williams said she was literally “smacked in the face with racism.”
“We came across Ku Klux Klan who decided they were going to protest our protest. They threw rocks at us and I actually got hit with one. They chased us all the way back to our buses,” Williams said.
The KKK did not just confront the peaceful protesters with physical violence, they spouted verbal violence at them as well.
“They called us the N-word and any other word you could imagine the KKK would be calling us,” Williams added.
Today, the traumatic event fills Williams with pride and makes her “feel empowered” by having participated in it.
“I didn’t understand it [at the time]. So of course after that there was a conversation with my dad when I got home, to let me know that, ‘Some people do hate you, even though you may be trying to do a good thing,’ ” she said. “But what I got out of that is to keep going regardless. I never saw my grandfather stop. I never saw my dad stop, and the movement is still continuing on.”
Williams is continuing the movement by participating in the Atlanta protests that have taken place since the murder of George Floyd. She shared video footage from a nonviolent demonstration held earlier this month, when she and her fiancé, Dennis McKinley, had tear gas unleashed on them by local police officers as they were peacefully marching.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the reality star and mother of one said the experience hadn’t discouraged her from fighting.
“Yes, I took some gas and to my eyes and I had to have milk and water poured in my face,” she confirmed. “Listen, I’m all right. I’m all right…everyone else who’s out there fighting the good fight, they will also be all right, but it has to be known, it has to be demanded, that we are able to peacefully protest. It is the voice of the people.”
“The message that we have is not going to die,” Williams added. “It’s not. George Floyd will not have died in vain. Breonna Taylor will not have died in vain, and the other people who have been victims of police brutality will not have died in vain.”