Why I’m Going Back to Charlottesville

Free People All I Got Maxi Dress

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Dress: Free People (also here) | Sandals: ℅ Ann Taylor | Earrings: Gorjana | Necklace:  ℅ Taudrey | Lipstick: MAC Cosmetics ‘Ruby Woo’

First things first — since this is a lighthearted blog by nature, let me briefly chime in about this dress. I’ve worn it 3 times in the last 3 weeks, and I’m not sorry about it. As you can see, the twirl factor is pretty epic, and it will look super chic with a leather jacket and booties when it starts to cool down. The one thing I could have used with this outfit? A nice pair of sunglasses — I’ve been constantly forgetting them every time I travel, and I really need to fix this!

And second: this post has been sitting in my drafts for a couple of weeks now, but it’s finally time to hit “publish”.

Some of you know this, but my boyfriend lives in Charlottesville. I visit the city pretty often. I adore this city. These photos were actually taken in Charlottesville two days before those horrid rallies began with those horrible people. And yes: my boyfriend and I got out of town before any of that mess began.

Well. I’m returning to Charlottesville this week for the first time after the rallies and protests, and I’ll have to admit: I’m a little nervous. My boyfriend lives incredibly close to where the car plowed into the group of counter protestors. AKA, I have to walk past it in order to get to his apartment. Am I ready to see that? Am I ready to witness the aftermath of a terrorist attack on our soil? Nope.

First things first: as a black woman, I have never, ever felt unsafe or uncomfortable in Charlottesville. It’s a city that’s been targeted by white supremacists who do NOT reside in the city time and time again. The actual locals of C’Ville? They couldn’t be nicer. In fact, on their Downtown Mall, I spotted a lot of local businesses putting up signs in their window that they won’t tolerate hate in their city.

If you’ve seen the news in the last few weeks: please. Do not let what happened a few weeks ago be your only opinion on Charlottesville. Even though I’m a bit nervous, I’m going back with pride because I know what kind of city it actually is, and I refuse to let any white supremacist out there make me afraid to live my life. 

Photos by Tom McGovern

Leave a Comment


  1. You couldn’t have said it better, Alicia! I love Charlottesville. I really still can’t believe this happened there! I’m so proud of you for always standing up for what’s right! Nothing of this sort should ever be tolerated! Not just in Charlottesville, but anywhere. It breaks my heart thinking we thought we would be living like the jetsons in 2017, but here we are living in a world full of hate, crime, and fear. Prayers it starts to get better. It can really only go up from here.


    Lacey//The Glitter Gospel

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  2. Anna wrote:

    I read this really interesting article written by a black doctor who practices in Charlottesville. https://www.statnews.com/2017/08/14/charlottesville-protest-white-anger/

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  3. Kelsey wrote:

    Thank you for this post! I used to go to Charlottesville once a month to see a chiropractor and it has always been one of my favorite places. So sad to see so many people associating this amazing place with the horrid events and disgusting white supremacists who traveled there.

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  4. Dana Mannarino wrote:

    A lot of my friends from college were from Charlottesville and I’m so sad that I never got to visit such a great place. I certainly did not think the horrific event that took place was a reflection of Charlottesville and I admire your outlook on returning.

    Pink Champagne Problems

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  5. India H. wrote:

    Great post, Alicia! I’m grateful that you’re using your platform to speak out. That terrorist attack wasn’t exclusively a Charlottesville issue– it was an American issue. And I really love that dress!

    India | booksandbighair.com

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  6. That floral dress looks amazing on you! I haven’t been to Charlottesvile but I’d love to visit!

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  7. Ruthie Ridley wrote:

    “I’m going back with pride because I know what kind of city it actually is, and I refuse to let any white supremacist out there make me afraid to live my life.” YES!!!! I love this and I love that you are going back!! I am so excited for you friend!! You look gorg!! XO

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  8. Rachel Ritlop wrote:

    This floral dress is absolutely gorgeous on you! Definitely transitions perfectly into any Fall wardrobe!

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  9. autum wrote:

    I love this dress!! And I am happy you are going back we shouldn’t live in fear but with joy and gladness!!

    Autum Love

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  10. Ana Catalina Amador wrote:

    This is the perfect transition dress! I can imagine it with booties and a jacket!

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  11. Jenny wrote:

    Love this, Alicia! Not letting fear hold you back is so important in this crazy world that we live in.

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  12. Ayana Pitterson wrote:

    YESS!!!! It’s great to hear that within the city walls, hate is not the everyday occurrence and these outliers are simply that — outliers. I do indeed wish that I can witness love overcome hate, but when these things happen, I wonder. Go back and enjoy your boyfriend, the city, and the fact that you would not be scared away.

    Thrifting Diva

    Posted 8.22.17 Reply
  13. Melanie Flinn wrote:

    That dress is gorgeous! I wish I could afford it right now- looks like something I’d wear a lot.

    Posted 8.23.17 Reply
  14. I love the color of that dress! It looks so comfortable! I think it’s great that the locals are not tolerating hate!

    Posted 8.23.17 Reply
  15. Dia wrote:

    I love Free People. They always make the cutest clothes. This dress is so cute. Perfect for a wine tour.

    Posted 8.23.17 Reply
  16. Ashley wrote:

    This dress is so gorgeous!! I am obsessed with FREE PEOPLE!

    Posted 8.24.17 Reply