My name is Kimberly Billups, I was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas in the winter of 1978. I grew up just as most southern country girls did learning how to ride horses and piddle in the gardens. When I was growing up I heard stories about my family tree, how we were immigrants from Europe and we then migrated from Virginia in the 17th century to the deep south and western territories. While in my 20’s I was researching more of my bloodline when I learned my 3rd great grandfather was the largest slave owner was the largest slave owner in Georgia at one time. The plantation in Rome, Georgia survived until the war between the states. I was intrigued by this new found information and began to research deeper. My passion for history grew not only for my family tree but I had to know more about black history. Why had history painted such a horrible reality for this nation of people? Who were they “really”? Why were they depicted as animals? I saw images of these human beings shackled in chains with scars all over their bodies, images and stories of mothers separated from their children, husbands from their wives. Such gruesome acts that were committed against them, disgust rushed through my mind.
When I met and married a truly handsome black man I began to notice things I had never seen before. My eyes were open, which is sad because I only became aware of the injustice and inhumane acts when it became my world. Not long after our marriage we moved to Charleston, South Carolina. I was fascinated with the history of the city and state from hence my family also came from. In the fall of 2015 I decide to become a tour guide for the City of Charleston. I wanted to give tours based on Southern Society and Black History. After receiving the tour guide manual to study for my license I noticed only a few pages out of 500 were geared toward educating on black history and slavery in Charleston. Things were not adding up! I saw that still to this day the injustice stains the city. There is still an unspoken but acknowledge of pigmented privilege to one group. The tour guide test was even worse The City of Charleston didn’t like acknowledging their part of history with slavery or the selling of slaves. When I found out that having to take a test to get a license to speak in Charleston was unconstitutional I wanted to stand up and fight.
By January 2016, I had filed a monumental federal lawsuit against the City of Charleston. People deserve to hear the truth about Charleston. We live in a beautiful city Charleston possesses the quality of the finest Egyptian rugs. No longer can its dirt beat up skirt or veiled under its beauty. As of June 19, 2018 Charlestown wanted to apologize for slavery but even after their discussion of four hours to come up with a decision to apologize is still so disingenuous. The city’s apology has yet to show repents of fruits, it is at best hypocritical and still supported slavery past. The city does this by bolstering monuments of these slave holders and supporters in mid city squares. These men that were such huge supporters and lovers of hate, the monument still stand to this day with no plans of bringing them down to their dusty grave. On this journey I noticed a whole new world. A world where blacks are still not free, their freedom is a myth. Slavery was never done away with it was just reinvented. It’s freedom a cage, the illusion of equality does not exist for them. I invite you to come and learn about this great nation of people, who they really are? Where they truly come from? Why their true identity was hidden from them and the rest of the world? The plot, the conspiracy! The revelation of the unprecedented documented proof.