Black History Culture : Houston Accused of Destroying Black Historic District

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by dustyelbow, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    released on 02/02/06 at 09:13:01

    Gladys House
    Freedmen's Town Association, Inc.


    Freedman's Town, TX (emergingminds.org) - The City of Houston has finally achieved its goal of more than a century, destroying historic Freedman's Town, the oldest Black community in this city. Houstons ongoing practices and policies of injustice and violating human, civil and Constitutional rights of thousands of zero income to low income Blacks and a few Latinos goes unchallenged by elected officials at every level.

    Freed enslaved Blacks planned and developed a five mile encircled area in 1865 and declared it Freedman's Town, a small community that catered to Black culture and independent existence from a Caucasian society that excluded them.

    During the years, Blacks became so progressive and self-sustaining that by 1900 they posed a threat to Caucasian leadership. City government began use of every legal and illegal act to dissolve this quiet, peaceful and proud community. Eminent domain consumed large sections of Freedman's Town. City of Houston erected buildings that claimed many acres of the Black settlement during the 1930s, established the largest public housing project via the Housing Act of 1934, known as San Felipe Courts (later Allen Parkway Village), constructed the Gulf Coast Freeway in 1959 that could have gone over this community but went through it to further displace Black property owners and businesses.

    Today, Freedman's Town is half its original size and has seen most of its glory stolen and destroyed by the very government that should serve and protect it. Despite honorable efforts of Freedmens Town Association, Inc. in January 1984 obtaining historic district designation under the U.S. Dept. of the Interior and National Trust for Historic Preservation, Houston fought harder and more ruthless to erase Black heritage here.

    Mysterious house fires followed by church bombings and unlawful demolition of historic buildings during three day weekends are a few of many lethal practices of the City of Houston. Where are the elected officials during this onslaught of turmoil?

    They are all part of the conspiracy to wipe out the only true Black history in Houston, shares Gladys House, founder of Freedmen's Town Association, Inc., the defender of the historic neighborhood since 1980.

    House says that Blacks and Latinos join Caucasian elected officials at every level to destroy Freedman's Town.

    "Who would have thought that Houston's first Black mayor, Lee P. Brown, would actually nail the coffin?," says House. "He deceived us during his campaign when he said he would give us justice in Freedman's Town. But what we got was destruction of an average six buildings daily here. Brown continued what his predecessor Robert Lanier had started.

    U.S. senators Kay Bailey-Hutcheson and John Cornyn have basically ignored requests for federal investigations while Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee cares even less attests grassroot residents.

    Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, plays a major role in addressing many of the federal housing violations against poor to low income residents of the historic area but residents say they have only been met with hostility and no progressive results.

    "I used vacation time to fly to D.C. and meet with Secretary Jackson but forced to wait three days before one of his assistants would see me," discloses House. "Later back in Houston I was informed by HUDs regional civil rights investigator that the HUD official I had met with somehow misplaced all essential documents I had provided him that made our case."

    House says getting federal investigators to Houston is quite difficult, especially when the City of Houston paints a different picture. But once an investigator arrives they are shocked and do all possible to ensure justice for Freedman's Town. But it is HUD that could have the most impact and give Freedman's Town justice but does not.

    "Letter writing, petitions, mailings, etc. we have done and continue doing it, but these Black people in power could care less," shares House. "I understand the abrasive tone of Caucasians but it is sickening when Blacks take the same adversarial role."

    Lawyers and legal aid organizations are not to be trusted because they are bought off each time say residents. The NAACP is too afraid and serves a conflict of interest because of where its funding source lies.

    House says, "Blacks in Houston for the most part are of the slave mind set and do not fight the many injustices anywhere in Houston. In fact, Blacks do not vote anymore on a large scale and therefore allow Caucasians to fill seats that Blacks should."

    "Gentrification of Freedman's Town continues among heavy violations of federal, state and local housing laws," says House. "One-third of luxury housing should be set aside for low income families but that is not being enforced. First-time homebuyer programs is a joke because persons already homeowners are allowed by certain ministers in the area to purchase yet a second home."

    House says she has constantly taken such blatant violations to local, state and HUD officials but nothing is ever done. Soon there will not be any place for the original and grassroot residents to reside in Freedman's Town assures House. Public housing management intimidates residents who speak out against human and civil rights violations.

    House has approached Oprah, 60 Minutes, 20/20 and even O'Reilly to name a few to get this story exposed but no progress. She urges any and all to open closed doors to national media so that cultural genocide and human rights violations may end and perpetrators severely punished.

    For more information, contact House at 713-742-6995 in Houston, Texas.
     
  2. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    .....Another reason to stop fighting against each other, and finally realize why we must unite. If we do not unite today, we will be forced to unite tomorrow.

    CD
     
  3. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    "Blacks in Houston for the most part are of the slave mind set and do not fight the many injustices anywhere in Houston."

    Case closed...
     
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