Memorializing black history vital
John Lee Johnson mattered. He was one of the black Thomas Jeffersons who helped make our entire community a better place to live.
In recognition of strong and pervasive public service, the Bristol Park Residence Clubhouse was named in Mr. Johnson’s honor.
AnnMarie Johnson, the Johnson family, Cope Cumpston and I appreciate the aforementioned action. Again, thanks to the naming committee.
Was it a fitting honor? I think not. We could not get them to name the housing complex for Mr. Johnson because the current housing strategy is to end Black public housing and rewrite the narrative with a more upscale connotation. For example, Birch Village is now Douglas Square, Dorsey Family Homes is now Providence at Sycamore and Dunbar Court is now Hamilton on the Park.
The erasure of Black history was the product of a Black carpet bagger who has left the Champaign-Urbana community. Perhaps now you can understand why it is important to get something, anything, that permanently memorializes our history.