WS City Council Calls on State, Federal Lawmakers To Study Reparations
The Winston-Salem City Council has passed a resolution urging state and federal legislators to study reparations for Black Americans. The measure also apologizes for the city’s role in infrastructure projects that harmed Black residents.
The resolution calls on Congress to pass House Resolution 40, which would establish a commission that would develop reparations proposals and study the legacy of slavery in the U.S. It asks state legislators to pass similar legislation.
It also apologizes for the city’s participation in urban renewal programs that destroyed Black neighborhoods and businesses in order to construct major highways including U.S. 52.
The resolution was championed by Mayor Pro Tem D.D. Adams.
“What we're doing here is hoping, again, to clear some minds and hearts and hopefully get Winston-Salem on the right page of history, and letting our public and citizens and the world know that we recognize our greatness didn't just come from itself," said Adams. "Our greatness came from the sacrifices and work of the people that were not compensated for it.”
The resolution also calls on the city’s African-American Heritage Committee to publish a history of the Black communities and institutions affected by urban renewal programs.
It passed 7-1, with just Councilmember Robert Clark voting no.