What Virginia grandmother did after receiving anonymous letter: 'I felt like I had to respond'

Paula Hughes
Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-17 17:31:01-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach grandmother is causing quite the stir in her neighborhood not far from the Hilltop Area.

Paula Hughes, who has lived in her home for about 40 years, said she added the handmade Black Lives Matter sign to her front window last fall to show her support for the movement.

The “BLM” letters were originally bright pink and just recently, but she and her grandkids have since decorated them with autumn leaves, Hughes said.

They decorated them after she got an anonymous letter in the mail, about a month ago.

In that letter, the author asked her to take down the sign. The homeowner believes the letter was written by an adult but the envelope was addressed by a child.

“Please take down your bright pink sign in your picture window. At this point we ALL know you are a lover of BLM. It is obvious you are neglecting your yard with overgrown bushes and trees. If your intention is to bring down your street by making your yard ghetto, you have succeeded," the letter read. "I am writing this on behalf of your neighbors. It would serve you well to educate yourself on BLM. God bless you. You are in our prayers.”


75-year-old Hughes decided to take that letter and enlarge it into a giant posterboard and put it in her yard for the neighborhood to see.

Since then, she said she has had people stopping by and showing their support. However, last night, there were two notes scribbled onto the sign.

At first, she thought it was graffiti that was condemning her but it appeared it was actually people supporting her efforts.

One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said, "She merely is stating what she believes in, and I think it’s great."

Hughes described how it all began with those three letters.

“It went up because I couldn’t march and felt there was something I had to do to show solidarity with the movement. So I went out and bought the brightest colors I could find.”

And Hughes said she doesn’t feel like she has done anything wrong and there is no homeowner’s association, so she says she is not breaking any rules.

Hughes has reached out for some legal advice. She said she does not intend to take down the BLM letters anytime soon.

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