A black family gets racist threat for banners praising daughter’s high school graduation
A mysterious letter called the posters “a disgrace to the neighborhood.”
A Black family in Yulee, Florida received racist mail a week ago subsequent to celebrating their twin girls’ — Xanah and Xarah — graduation from high school. David and Toya Sproul hung banners of their teenagers near the entrance of their home with a note of that read “Senior: Class of 2020.”
On Thursday (July 23), the Sprouls got an unknown letter in their mailbox, which advised them to remove the banners and leave the area.
“Don’t you think enough is enough? It’s time to take those hideous posters of that ugly fat black girl down off your house,” the letter read. “What a disgrace to the neighborhood. Consider moving to a ‘hood’ of your kind. Your neighbors are watching you!”
Stunned by the derisive letter, Toya promptly informed the police.
“You see all the things happening all across the country. It’s one thing when it’s across the country, but it’s absolutely different when it’s literally in your own yard, literally in your own house,” her husband David told local news outlet WJXT.
The parents were particularly amazed by the letter due to the celebratory and upbeat nature of the banners. Xanah and Xarah are both straight-A students who graduated with high honors from Yulee High School, where they were also section leaders in their marching band, members of the National Honor Society and more
“They kind of threw [the letter] down and then they went about their way,” David recalled to BuzzFeed News after showing his daughters the mail. “They are aware of what’s going on in the country, but after reading it they could clearly see that the person doesn’t know them. That’s the nature of how they are because they’re just super sweet girls.”
The letter was apparently sent by an unknown sender in Jacksonville, Florida. Following the occurrence, the Sprouls’ local Timber Creek neighbors have mobilized in their help. Area residents have dropped off encouraging empowerment cards, driven by their home, and waved and are making “Timber Creek Strong” yard signs.
“The letter that they received does not speak for this neighborhood at all, you know. We’re a pretty positive neighborhood,” neighbor Rowdy Griffin told WJXT. “We all come together for each other and I just want to show my support for them.”
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office has reacted precisely and documented it as a threat and harassment incident. The Sprouls are seeking a potential hate crime investigation, as the letter threatened them to leave the neighborhood.
“We at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office do not tolerate racism and hate crimes in our county,” Undersheriff Roy Henderson said. “This is out of character for Nassau County and we will continue to investigate this incident. We are proud of the Sproul twins’ accomplishments and hope to get to the bottom of this soon.”
Xanah and Xarah are set to go to Saint Leo University this fall on a full-ride grant, which they were granted from the Boys and Girls Club.
“We love everybody,” Toya said. “We’ve raised our kids that way, which is why they’re really not that bothered by it — because we’re not gonna return hate. We’re not gonna retaliate in that way.”