Entrepreneur Angel Pittman is fundraising to relocate her mobile hair salon business after racist neighbors ran her out of town with guns, KKK signs, and swastikas.
The more Black Americans chase the American dream, the more rancid racists delight in turning it into a nightmare. Black entrepreneurs like Pittman truly embody “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” which originally meant an impossible task rather than success through hard work. The Guardian reports racist neighbors chased Pittman from a North Carolina town where she bought land and vehicles for her mobile hair salon.
‘I cried for a long time’: Black hair stylist’s dream crushed by racist neighbor https://t.co/E9cSPtstue
— The Guardian (@guardian) March 21, 2023
Since the age of 17, Pittman saved all her money to start the business of her dreams. She didn’t just want to build success for herself. The vision to put her salon on wheels also included serving the most vulnerable in her community.
“I’ve never seen anybody driving around doing people’s hair. But not only did I want to get paid for doing hair, but I wanted to drive around, do a couple of homeless people’s hair and maybe go to some prisons and help incarcerated people.
Last September, Pittman bought three school buses for $14,000 and less than an acre of unrestricted land in North Carolina. With those purchases, she planned to turn one bus into a living space and transform the other two into mobile salons. She would have the option to do house calls or take clients on the go.
Unfortunately, the 21-year-old’s dreams ended before they started because her land was in a sundown town in Rowan county just outside of Salisbury, North Carolina. If you’re unfamiliar with sundown towns, the name comes from the common phrase: N-word, N-word, “don’t let the sun go down on you in this town.”
RACISM IN 2023 IS CRAZY #BreedingDifficulty #ViralVideos #FYP pic.twitter.com/D0gIQO56WM
— Annnngggeeellllll😇 (@AngelPittman_) January 26, 2023
Racist cops and vigilantes heavily policing these areas are why Black travelers relied on the Green Book to know where it’s safe to stop and pass through. These areas became predominantly or all-white through ruthless intimidation and racist attacks that even drove Black people from their own land. Pittman’s neighbors pulled the same tactics on her.
Pittman’s White Neighbor Channeled His Klancestors, Claiming Her Newly Purchased Land As His Own
When the Charlotte native checked out the land with her mother after the closing, an elderly white neighbor questioned them. When she dropped off her busses, he went from creepy and curious to Jim Crow-era furious. He threatened the women with a gun and falsely claimed they were on his land. The audacity of caucacity!
“He sat over there and had his gun out the whole time. He was like, ‘Get the f*ck off my lawn. And [that] we need to get them f*cking buses off his lawn. So basically saying, my land was his,” Pittman said.
The stylist returned to busted-out windows on her busses and racial slurs carved into the sides. Her neighbor went full racist with swastikas, confederate flags and KKK signs all over his lawn. She feared worse sabotage like booby traps and bombs.
North Carolina black business owner Angel Pittman owns a mobile hair salon that was destroyed by racism. Her busses were vandalized and her neighbors threatened her by displaying Confederate flags, swastikas and KKK signs in their yard. The police also did nothing to help her. pic.twitter.com/fYloyaXr9X
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) March 22, 2023
Of course, cops were utterly useless because they claimed the man was always a red flag in a white hood. “Oh, yeah, they do that all the time,” officers told Pittman. Somehow, racist intimidation doesn’t count if that’s your default setting because it’s not targeted. Pittman fled the land in fear for her life.
“To have all of that ripped from under me was really hurtful. I cried for a long time. For somebody to be hateful because of my skin color makes it even worse. It’s really heartbreaking,” Pittman said.
Pittman returned home to Charlotte to start from scratch. She launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help cover the costs of the lost land and storing two of the buses. Haters damaged the third bus too badly to tow it without repair.
Fortunately, Angel Pittman survived to slay another day. However, so did the overwhelming racism in Rowan county. We can’t passively wait for racists like her neighbor to fade out because they are recruiting online, writing laws, and running school boards nationwide.