‘We need it’: Resident calls resource center – Daily Leader


“We need this”: a resident asks for a resource center

Posted at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2022

Brookhaven resident Roy Smith appeared before the council of aldermen to again demand a community education resource centre.

Smith first pitched the idea to the board in the spring.

“We need to allocate funds to build a community education resource center on this side of town, incorporating a black history library, so that black and white children understand our history,” Smith said in April. .

“I grew up in Brookhaven, witnessed and lived the struggles,” Smith said. “Nothing will grow unless you plant a seed. Plant seeds while these children are young. They will be better students, who will become more responsible adults. Responsible adults become better parents, who become better citizens, who become a better community and a better society.

“It is time to break the cycle of poverty and social degradation. We have a moral, civic and spiritual obligation to ourselves, our families and to each other,” Smith said. “It’s time to have a big mind and a big heart for our struggling community.”

On Tuesday, Smith asked the council to act on the issue.

“I’ve been black for a long time. These people were black and poor. They feel doubly trapped. They were black and poor and sold on the river. They feel triply trapped. We need a black community center to educate young black men,” he said.

The appearance on the east side of town from the train tracks is “completely unacceptable”. A community center would help improve the look of the area and give its residents something to be proud of, Smith said.

“They don’t have to be stripped of their dignity because they’re black and poor,” Smith said. “I’ve been talking about it for months and I haven’t heard any serious and meaningful proposals about it made to the board.”

“You’ve heard suggestions,” Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore said.

“We need this resource center.”

“I agree 100%,” Moore said.

“I rest my case,” Smith said.

As representatives from two companies made presentations to the board for the remainder of the meeting, Moore asked each if researching or applying for grants to help fund such a center was within their ability to accomplish.

Larry Day of Daylight Capital Advisors said that as a financial advisor to municipalities, he can help them decide on options and navigate the legalities.

Cornerstone Government Affairs lobbyists Elliott Flaggs and Drew Maddox said they could help direct the city to available state and national resources. Both companies asked the city to consider their services and left information for review.


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