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National effort underway to revitalize Black townships

Posted at 11:27 AM, Nov 21, 2023

After several years of racial trauma, the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic instability, there's a national effort to revitalize Black townships.

Cymone Davis is the CEO of Black Towns Municipal Management.

At the beginning of November in Tulsa, Oklahoma, organizations like the Black Resilience Network and the Congressional Black Caucus for New Urbanism came together to visit historic Black townships.

"A Black town is a nest, a safety haven, a protective place for black people to live, to thrive, to have its own economic base," Davis said. "These Black towns have been around since the late 1800s, the early 1900s, and we have them as a cultural gem. We have land collectively as an African diaspora, as Black people. So why not rebuild for our communities and our families?"

Davis says it will take a collective effort involving federal resources, national organizations, local community members and academic partnerships to revive Black townships across the country.

She says Black townships were curated over time due to oppression and racism, but she wants them to become communities that prosper and succeed.

"To live whole, to live happy, to have Black joy and not Black trauma," Davis said.