Local author Charles Price encourages everyone to help heal the growing racial divide.
In April, ex-officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges for killing George Floyd. Over a year ago, Floyd’s words “I can’t breathe,” sent shockwaves around the world. The event set off massive nationwide protests and riots, and illustrated a chilling depiction of what Black Americans have long suffered at the hands of law enforcement. In the months leading up to Chauvin’s trial, and the months since, it has been made clear that there is a growing racial divide in the United States.
Charles Price, a local African American author from Manassas, released The Council: A Few Came Together to Become the Manifestation of Justice on June 19th, ‘Juneteenth,’ in hopes that it would provide insight as to how people unify in trying times and be a catalyst of conversation to inspire true healing.
‘The Council’ is centered around Nat Turner’s 1831 insurrection in Virginia and is a vivid, historically-based depiction of what impact this event would have had on America if the outcome was different.
“This is a historical fiction novel where I spent six months diving into history centered around Nat Turner’s insurrection, the political angst, and the community unrest,” Price said. “Included in my research was interviewing a descendant of slave owner Salathiel Francis, who was killed by Nat Turner’s army. The interview provided outstanding accounts, family insight, political understanding, and emotional depth to the insurrection.”
Price said that this book had been on his heart for a long time, having started it around 2015. “Some of the killings that happened – particularly Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, and Philando Castile – hit me pretty hard. It feels like I’m sharing a piece of myself with people. It caused me to go back in time.”
Charles has always been interested in history, Black history in particular. “When I was a kid, I loved water guns. I found out the water gun was invented by a Black man, Lonnie Johnson,” Price said. “I started reading about all of these contributions and all of the ways that Black people have contributed to American history. It helped me understand that despite our beginnings in America, we still made it a point to make contributions. We always have something to contribute through our work ethic and our creativity.”
Charles, who grew up in Woodbridge, has witnessed, and experienced, prejudice since he was young. “I had racial problems in my neighborhood growing up as a kid. When I was pulled over for the first time, I was driving home from a party. I was with my friend, who was white, and the cop got aggressive with me for no reason. I included some of the experiences like this that my friends and I have gone through in the book. The Black community has suffered a lot. If the goal is reconciliation and moving forward collectively as a nation, we all need to be heard. All voices need to be heard.”
In light of the growing racial divide, Price felt this type of book could provide a sense of understanding of the African American remnant pain to the past, provide insight as to how people unify in trying times and serve as a testament to the importance of love, compassion, faith, and true unity. “The story isn’t about black people coming into power to somehow seek revenge; it’s about allowing us to come into our power and acknowledge what we’ve been through. My hope and my prayer is that it will showcase the need for empathy so that we can all heal.“
The Council: A Few Came Together to Become the Manifestation of Justice is available on Amazon. You can learn more about Charles and the book by visiting thecouncilseries.com or following The Council Series on Facebook.