Porsha Williams is reflecting on her first experience with racism.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta star, 38, recalled on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Monday that she was attacked by the Klu Klux Klan at just 6 years old while attending a protest with her grandfather, civil rights leader Hosea Williams.
"I was about 6 years old when I went to my first march," Williams said. "It was here in Forsyth County, Georgia, and I was excited to go, of course as a little kid, you finally get to go to work with your granddad, you hear he's doing all this stuff. We get out there and I'm excited, again, innocent, singing the songs, ‘We Shall Overcome," etc."
The Bravo star told Cohen that she was "smacked in the face with racism" when the KKK arrived at the protest.
"We came across Klu Klux Klan, and they decided to protest our protest," she recalled. "They threw rocks at us, I actually got hit with one. They chased us all the way back to the buses, because we had busloads of people with us. They called us the n-word and any other thing the KKK would be calling us."
Paras Griffin/Getty Porsha Williams
Williams says that she now feels "empowered" when reflecting on her involvement in protests as a young girl.
"I was out there at such a young age with my grandfather, because Forsyth County is really racist," she explained. "They had actually driven out all of the African-Americans who lived there over the years. And so, we were going to basically say, ‘No. We need to bring Black people in here.'”
"That was the first time I really got slapped with it as a little girl," Williams said. "As an adult, as a black woman, listen, I deal with it throughout the years in my own way."
The mother of one admitted that she "didn't understand" the racist attacks at the time, but learned from a conversation with her father that "some people do hate you, even though you may be trying to do a good thing."
"But what I got out of that was to keep going regardless," Williams said. "I never saw my grandfather stop, I never saw my dad stop. The movement is still continuing on and i think that is apart of what's inside of me that's not gonna stop. I know that people are protesting now, and I know that a lot of the times when the media stops covering it, it kind of dies down and ends. But it's not gonna stop this time."
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Last week, Williams was among the thousands of protestors in Atlanta demanding change in the wake of George Floyd's death while in Minneapolis police custody. During the protest, Williams, along with other peaceful protests, was hit with tear gas fired off by the police.
"It was devastating to feel like I was out there trying to stand with my people, stand with our allies, and help them raise a message of hope and to be silenced and not able to breathe because of the gas bomb that was thrown," she said.
Williams said the experience gave her "another level of strength" to continue protesting.
"It won't stop. Anybody who is out there now and they feel like they can't move forward because of the mistreatment [by] the police and what they're doing to us ... I would say to them, stay focused on the cause," she said. "We are looking to get justice for George Floyd.