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Meet the people who erased racist graffiti from a Petersburg neighborhood: ‘Kindness overcame the evil’

Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 18:40:03-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Days after someone littered a Petersburg neighborhood with racist graffiti, the offensive markings were gone.

What happened to the graffiti left on cars, homes, buildings and food trailers?

Community happened.

"When that happened to our community, it felt like it happened to one of us," DeMario Evans, a member of the family-owned Petersburg Pawn, said. "That's just pure hatred and that's just something our community should not and will not tolerate."

So Evans said Petersburg Pawn decided they needed to do something. Armed with cleaning supplies and a group of teens they mentor, they cleaned the spray paint, and in doing so, the neighborhood.

"Mighty great of him and his guys and he never asked for anything in return," neighbor Marlow Jones said.

Belinda Calloway, another graffiti victim, recalled her encounter with the group.

"They came and said they were coming by to clean the graffiti and I said how much and they said it's free and I said OK," she said.

"We have people out there with good hearts," Petersburg Councilman Darrin Hill said.

Evans said their decision to donate their time to clean the neighborhood came from their hearts.

"Kindness overcame the evil," Calloway said.