Hometown Hero: A Rock Hill Business Owner Committed To Standing Up For Equality

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The Mercantile’s Brittany kelly is making headlines, not only for her hard work as a small business owner, but also for her dedication to Rock Hill and passion to fight racism.

In her ‘No Room For Racism’ mural that includes the faces of the iconic Friendship 9, Kelly is simply looking to start the conversation.

“It was so important for me to educate people in Rock Hill and around the world how much Rock Hill has already participated in the Civil Rights movement and how much people that are still here fought back in the 60s for everything,” Kelly said. “So, i feel like we have this chance to bridge this, to teach younger generations that we have a story to tell and we’re not done with work here in town and continue forward.”

And that’s why we nominated Kelly as our latest CN2 Hometown Hero.

“Brittany, if you know the name in town, you know she is a mover and shaker and she’s an inspiration on more levels than one, ” local artist Heather Johnson said. “She uses her business as a platform to push change, to encourage growth in this city and to connect people that would not be connected otherwise, and I have admired Brittany for a really long time and I’m so glad that we finally got to collaborate on something.”

“She believes in all of our community, and we need more people just like her to step forward and bring us all together to see better days,” Mayor John Gettys said. “With the mural and everything else, that’s a form of communication that is something unique to any and every individual, and I think that that is something Brittany recognizes.”

Kelly told CN2 her story about her family tie with the KKK, a prisoner who was one of the main leaders with the York County KKK.

She just learned, he’s also her 4th great grandfather.

“It makes me want to fight even harder to right those wrongs,” Kelly said. “I do feel like it’s my responsibility to carry forward. How can you not agree with no room for racism? I just don’t understand it at all.”