FORT WORTH (FinalCall.com) – Community leaders gained momentum in the reparations movement as Fort Worth City Council passed a resolution that calls for the House of Representatives to establish a national commission to study the issue of reparations for slavery. The resolution, HR 40 or House Bill 40, is sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)
The city of Fort Worth now joins legislation that has been endorsed by officials in several cities, including Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland and Chicago. Houston remains one of the only major cities in Texas that has not passed such a resolution.
“This completely places a large burden on Mayor Bill White and city council of Houston, now that Fort Worth has passed their resolution. But we won’t quit until we see victory here as well,” said Kofi Taharka, National Black United Front (NBUF) Houston chairman and a member of the Houston umbrella reparations group, the Local Action Committee (LAC).
The resolution passed 6-3 with dissenting members voicing concerns that it made no sense. “I will not support this because I don’t think we can solve anything by going back to the past. I mean, what about the women who suffered for hundreds of years, including receiving low pay for the same work a man does? Do we go back and address that?” said Council Member Becky Haskin. City Council members Ralph McCloud and Frank Moss sponsored the resolution.
“With this win, we will use it to continue momentum and gather thousands of signatures for the NDABA campaign,” said Bryan Muhammad, executive director and president of Tarrant County POWER (People Organized Working for Equal Rights Representation and Reparations), the group who lead the reparations resolution issue.
Dr. Michael Bell, spokesperson for the Tarrant County Local Organizing Committee, speaking to the press after the resolution passage said, “Fort Worth can claim its position among dozens of cities across this nation who are saying that it’s time now for us to repair the damage done to African people in this country. The brutal slavery conditions reaped upon fellow human beings was wrong and that debt must be paid.”
“This is not an old movement. Callie House did the first organized movement for reparation compensation for African Americans as she worked to get slave pensions for the newly freed Blacks during the mid-1800s. We appreciate the council assisting in bringing us closer to closure on this extremely important issue,” said Thomas Muhammad, founder of Africans & African Americans for Enslavement Reparations.
(For more information, call POWER at Metro (817) 247-0538.)