Early this Friday morning as I was thinking about what I should write about in my column this week I was led to read “State Of Black America in the Year 2021, “The New Normal” which was in March Morial’s July 28th column in the Hudson Valley press. Upon reading it I was led to go on their website. Once there I was led to read “Ensuring Social and Economic Justice on Behalf of Communities of Color” by Marcia L. Fudge Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. What really deeply touched my heart was when my eyes gazed upon these words “In the “Tulsa Race Massacre” thousands of Black homes and businesses were destroyed. Yet, no arrests were ever made. No proper accounting of the dead was ever performed. No justice ever realized. Following the massacre- as the people tried to put their lives back together- they were still confronted with the ever present vestiges of systemic racism. Discriminatory practices such as red-lining and racist zoning laws prevented Black Tulsans from getting the loans they needed to repair their homes and businesses. The community- like so many communities in America – was cut off from jobs and opportunity. Disinvestments from the state and federal government denied Black Wall Street a chance to truly rebuild.
WOW! This takes my mind back to what happened to so many of our families right here in Newburgh when Urban Renewal wiped “OUR”’ entire community out in July of 1970. Urban Renewal was truly “BLACK FOLKS REMOVAL!” As of yet a lot of that land is still lying dormant. WHY? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? What’s “REALLY”’ going on and “WHY” is it “REALLY” going on? Why has it taken so long for that land to be repopulated? Why has it taken fifty-one years so far to be repopulated? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? “What’s Really Going On And Why Is It “Really Going On???? Does anyone know or have the “REAL” reason why that land has been allowed to remain empty for so many years? Why has their been so much “SILENCE” regarding this most significant and important issue? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? So many jobs could be created in the redevelopment of that land so many lives could be uplifted in the redevelopment of that land. I am so emotionally concerned about that land because my grandparents owned one of the houses on that land. My mother’s livelihood was affected due to the loss of the business that she was managing on Water street at that time. So many other lives were destroyed due to “URBAN” renewal, which many believed that it was really “NIGGER” removal. WOW! WOW! WOW!
Why has it taken these many years for that land to be redeveloped? Is it truly because the powers that be throughout the years were waiting for us “BLACK”’ folks to be gone so that none of us would have the opportunity to live on that land again? Just asking!!!! A federal rebuilding was supposed to follow the demolition of that land. City residents waited for a plan and for reconstruction of that land and we’re still waiting. So many lives were totally torn apart due to the destruction of that land and my grandmother’s life was one of those lives .WOW! At that time they purchased a home which was located in the first block of Lander street but she died from a broken heart before being able to move into the new house. Her and my grandfather had worked so hard throughout the years to purchase their three story house located on Smith Street and it literally broke her heart when Urban Renewal came through.
Anyway, let me get back to what is or what is not going on today re: us “BLACK” folks in the city of Newburgh. What has happened to the “Minority Business Program”’ which our city once had? Do they still have it? Since the start of that program I would like to know just how many African American people have benefitted from that program? I would also like to know if that program is still in existence and if so what type of information has and still is being circulated throughout the community re: it? These are the questions that we need to hear the answers to. What’s “REALLY” going or not going on re: that program? Since it’s existence throughout the years what types of community awareness has been done to make “OUR” community aware of this program? What’s up with that?
If a program is not “SERIOUSLY” advertised how can the people be aware of its existence? I remember when there were quite a few “BLACK”’ owned businesses in the city of Newburgh? How many are there now? Oh well I could go on and on about this but the “REAL” bottom line question is “ how many of “OUR” leaders are asking these most significant questions?????” How many????? I most definitely would like to hear the answer to that question.
This is “Lillie’s Point of View” and I’m just having my say, now you can have yours. PEACE!