A 21-year-old hairstylist poured her savings into buying land in North Carolina to place three school buses she would use to provide mobile hair services. However, according to The Guardian, her dream came to a hard stop after being racially harassed and having her property vandalized with obscenities.
Angel Pittman didn’t just fund her dream but every Black woman’s dream: a hair salon that will travel to you. In September 2022, she spent the bulk of her savings on three school buses and unrestricted land near a trailer park in Rowan County which is home to sundown towns. Unfortunately, sundown towns, home to white racists who are violently unwelcoming to Black visitors, still exist well beyond the Jim Crow Era.
Once,l Pittman caught the vibe one white neighbor asked her, “Why are you guys here? Are y’all looking for shade?” the report says. That sounds a lot like, “You lost, boy?” to me.
Pittman told reporters the man suddenly erected a Confederate flag in his yard and painted swatstikas on his trailer. Things escalated from inquiring about her presence to being ordered to “get them f*cking buses off his lawn” while he sat outside with a gun. Then, she posted a TikTok that went viral showing her buses with the windows busted and covered in vulgar graffiti including “bitch,” “f*ck you” and the N-word.
The public outcry about the incident got her story spread all across local North Carolina news. Pittman did contact the police but told The Guardian they weren’t of much help.
Read more about it from The Guardian:
Seeing the vandalism, and afraid her land and buses could’ve been wired with bombs or bear traps, she called the police. When the Rowan county sheriff’s office deputies arrived, Pittman and her parents reported what they saw as a hate crime. But the deputies at the scene immediately brushed it off, telling her, “Oh, yeah, they do that all the time,” Pittman said. “The police talked to us for a little bit but they didn’t do anything. They just wrote a report and that was it.”
In an interview with the Guardian, one of the sheriff’s captains, Mark McDaniel, said the officers who went to the scene knew the elderly man and did “observe the damage … the broken windows [and] the stuff that was spray painted on”.
When asked about recourse for the attack, McDaniel said the incident happened before he started at the office. However, he said according to the report filed by the deputies, there is no indication it was a targeted attack because the neighbor always had white supremacy signs displayed.
The sheriff closed the case after failing to find an eyewitness who saw the damage being done to Pittman’s property. Even if the neighbors were legally apprehended, all they faced was a Class 1 misdemeanor and a couple months in jail, according to state law.
For now, Pittman has moved back home to Charlotte instead of staying on her land for safety. She also has raised almost $100,000 through a GoFundMe to restore the funds she spent on the operation that was soiled by bigots.